Wednesday, July 11, 2018

France will face England or Croatia in the World Cup final

France will face England or Croatia in the World Cup final after edging past European neighbours Belgium in the semi-final in St Petersburg.

Defender Samuel Umtiti scored the winning goal for the 1998 champions in the second half with a towering header from Antoine Griezmann's corner.
Didier Deschamps' side were on the back foot for large periods of the game, but emerged victorious to reach their third final, having been beaten by Italy on penalties in 2006.
Belgium came through the quarter-finals by impressively beating Brazil, but they were unable to find the equaliser, as Axel Witsel's powerful, long-range drive was pushed away by Hugo Lloris, who also brilliantly kept out Toby Alderweireld's turn and shot.
At the final whistle, the France substitutes ran on the pitch to celebrate with the players, while manager Deschamps was mobbed by his staff before dancing around in a circle.
England play Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in the second semi-final on Wednesday (kick-off 19:00 BST) and the final takes places at the same venue on Sunday (16:00 BST).
Twenty years ago, France won the World Cup for the first and only time in their history at home in Paris with a 3-0 win over Brazil.
That team was captained by Deschamps, who is now aiming to emulate Brazilian Mario Zagallo and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer by winning the competition as both a player and manager.
Deschamps was a holding midfielder in his day and his France side have come to characterise his playing style of functionality over flair by adopting a conservative game.
Belgium had 64% possession in the match but France kept their shape, played on the counter-attack and constantly looked to forward Kylian Mbappe, who was a threat throughout with his darting runs and trickery with the ball.
The teenager, who announced himself on the global stage by scoring twice against Argentina in the last 16, played a sublime flick to put Olivier Giroud in on goal, but the Chelsea man saw his shot blocked from close range.
Although Giroud has now had 13 shots in the tournament without finding the target, he is likely to keep his place in the starting XI for the final.
Deschamps has been questioned for continuing to deploy Giroud up front in his side and has been asked why a place cannot be found for other attacking talents such as Ousmane Dembele or Thomas Lemar.
But he has answered the critics with a run to a second consecutive major tournament final after Euro 2016, when they were beaten in extra-time by Portugal.
Once France went ahead on 50 minutes they rarely looked like conceding and Belgium went out with a bit of a whimper.

Golden generation unable to deliver

Ranked among one of the pre-tournament favourites, there was optimism that Belgium's 'golden generation' of players containing skipper Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku could finally deliver silverware for their country.
But the win in the previous round against five-time winners Brazil proved to be their peak, and they suffered heartbreak in a major tournament once more.
The Red Devils lost in the quarter-final of both the previous World Cup and the European Championship and their second World Cup semi-final appearance ended in defeat, just like in 1986 against a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina.
The team's 24-match unbeaten run stretching back to September 2016 also came to an end, as manager Roberto Martinez suffered a first loss in a competitive game.
Ten of the 11 starters were Premier League-based and one of those - striker Lukaku of Manchester United, who was excellent against Brazil, was left stifled by France's excellent centre-back pairing of Umtiti and Raphael Varane. Lukaku had just 22 touches on the ball in the whole match - the least of any player who started.
Manchester City's De Bruyne was unable to dictate the game and although skipper Hazard started brightly, fizzing a low shot narrowly wide and another deflecting over, he too drifted out of the game.
Belgium's only consolation is that they still have one game left to play in the tournament - Saturday's third/fourth place play-off against the loser from the England v Croatia encounter.

Anything to fear for England or Croatia?

England beat Sweden to reach the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990

One place is sorted and one remains up for grabs for Sunday's showpiece.
England against Croatia is an evenly matched contest and the Three Lions are looking to reach the final for the first time since 1966, where they won the competition on home soil.
Balkans nation Croatia saw their best performance come in 1998 when they finished third by beating the Netherlands in the play-off match. The French will start as favourites to claim the trophy but who will they face?
"I expect England to beat Croatia," former Scotland winger Pat Nevin said on BBC Radio 5 live."They are more powerful, and they will cause France problems."
Former Premier League striker Dion Dublin said: "England will be thinking 'oh dear, France are quite good'. Belgium were OK, but not as good as they could've been.
"When you get to the semi-finals of a World Cup you have to play well as a team, but Belgium did not look like scoring."
Former England striker Alan Shearer added: "Whatever happens, the England boys are coming home as heroes. They have an unbelievable chance to come home as legends."

'Couldn't ask for more'

"It was a close game and it was very tight and it was going to be decided by that bit of luck in front of goal. The attitude of the players was brilliant and we couldn't ask for anymore. We have to understand one team wins and the other loses, and we did what we could."
Asked about the French goal, Martinez added: "That is the type of detail that counts in the semi-final of the World Cup. We have one game left and I want to ensure we finish the tournament on a high because these players don't deserve to leave here with a bad taste."
France boss Didier Deschamps: "The most important match is on Sunday, we have given ourselves a huge privilege to reach the final of the World Cup. I was there two years ago [Euro 2016 final] and it was so painful that we want to taste the victory now.
"It is nothing to win the semi-final after losing in the final two years ago, we have this privilege to give happiness to these people, but we will try to give even more happiness on Sunday."

Man of the match - Raphael Varane (France)

A dominant showing by the Real Madrid defender and he did not give Lukaku a sniff
World Cup of set-pieces - the stats
  • France have reached their third World Cup final, also doing so in 1998 and 2006. Only Germany (8) and Italy (6) have reached more among European nations.
  • Since reaching their first in 1998, France have now reached more World Cup finals than any other nation (3).
  • This was Belgium's first defeat of any kind since a friendly loss against Spain in September 2016.
  • France have beaten Belgium three times in World Cup matches, more than they've beaten any other side in the competition.
  • 44% of the goals at the 2018 World Cup have come from set piece situations (69/158, including penalties).
  • Despite having almost two-thirds of the possession in this match (64%), Belgium attempted just nine shots - 10 fewer than France managed (19).
  • Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 20 competitive games for France (12 goals, 8 assists).
  • Griezmann has been directly involved in 13 of France's last 20 goals scored in major tournaments (World Cup and Euros), with nine goals and four assists.
  • Only England's Harry Kane (6 goals) has been involved in more goals at the 2018 World Cup than France's Griezmann (5: 3 goals, 2 assists).

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 - Mens Exclusive

The internet is flooded with several shopping portals but exclusive portals for men are few. If you are hooked on to online shopping and wish to be fashion forward at all times, genius18 is a good portal that offers a variety of apparel for men at affordable prices.

This Bangalore based portal has been designed keeping the young Indian male in mind. It has a carefully selected collection of polo neck T-shirts, round-neck T-shirts and hoodies. The merchandise is of high quality and in sync with the current trends. 

The interface is attractive and easy to navigate. The white background and the sharp images add to overall look. The loading speed is satisfactory. 

You can register on the website for regular updates and also to keep a track of all your orders. The site offers flash sales and huge discounts from time to time The “Lookbook” section of the website keeps you abreast with the latest trends in men’s fashion wear from around the world. The accompanying blogs also offer several tips for dressing better and looking your best. Like most other portals, this one also offers free shipping on the first order and on orders above Rs. 1999. You get a 24 X 7 support system to solve your queries. has a user-friendly return policy. All returns or exchanges can be raised within 10 days of the invoice date for Indian orders and 20 days for overseas orders. 

The promise of secure payments and safe transactions ensure that you can shop without any worries. So the next time you are looking for some trendy casual clothing, do check out!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

We drove the SUV that kept Mitsubishi alive and it may be the best deal out there

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Mitsubishi churned a string of hits including the Elicpse, the Montero, the 3000GT, Galant, and the legendary Lancer Evolution.

Sadly, Mitsubishi's fortunes took turn for the worse over the past 15 years. Saddled with an aging lineup of products, the devastating effects of a financial crisis, and a lack of resources to develop competitive new models, Mitsubishi looked to be on the verge of exiting the US market.

In fact, the brand's share of the US auto market was down to just 0.5%.

But now, things have started to look up for Mitsubishi. The company's decision to ride the wave of demand for crossover SUVs finally paid off with sales rebounding over the past few years. In 2017, Mitsubishi's US sales jumped 7.7% over the previous year to just under 104,000 cars. A 2016 takeover by the Renault-Nissan Alliance means Mitsubishi will finally have the money and resources to develop a new generation of cars.

However, we probably won't see the real fruits of that development work for a couple of years. In the meantime, Mitsubishi is dependent on the vehicles it already has in its stable.

In the US, it can be argued that no model has been more important to Mitsubishi's bottom line than its flagship offering, the Outlander crossover SUV. (The Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero/Shogun exited the US market more than a decade ago.)

Last week, Mitsubishi delivered a 2018 Outlander 2.4 LE S-AWE in Diamond White Pear to Business Insider's suburban New Jersey road test facility for evaluation.

The Mitsubishi Outlander starts at $23,945 while our mid-grade Limited Edition costs $29,260 as tested.

Here's a closer look at the Mitsubishi Outlander crossover SUV.

The compact Outlander crossover is the flagship model in Mitsubishi's lineup. It competes directly against the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, Volkswagen Tiguan, and many more.

The current generation Outlander has been around since 2013 but received a major mid-cycle refresh for the 2016 model year.

Overall, the Outlander isn't a bad looking machine. It wears the Mitsubishi corporate front fascia well. The look is fairly generic, but works.

The interior of the Outlander is best described as functional. It's not ugly, but miles away from stylish. The interior fit and finish are lacking while the materials used feel coarse and unrefined. In addition, the seats lacked padding and proved to be unsupportive on long drives.

The focal point of the cabin is the center console's seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

My Colleague Matt DeBord disliked the system's user interface. However, I found it to be simple and rather intuitive.

Full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility made life easier.

In fact, the Outlander was actually fairly well equipped with safety features including a backup camera, hill start assist, blind spot warning with cross-traffic assist, and lane change assist. Oddly, enough it didn't have automatic headlights, something commonplace on even the cheapest of cars these days.

Even though it's a compact crossover, the Outlander actually has three rows of seats. But the third row is only useful for small children. Few adults will be comfortable back there. With that said, the first and second row proved to be quite roomy.

Under the hood is a 166 horsepower, 2.4-liter, naturally aspirated, inline-four-cylinder engine. Only the top of the line GT model is available with the more desirable 224 horsepower, 3.0 liter V6.

All four-cylinder Outlanders are hooked up to a continuously variable transmission. The V6 is paired with a six-speed automatic.

Our test car came with Mitsubishi's advanced Super All Wheel Control Four-wheel-Drive system. It's technology lifted from the iconic Lancer Evolution rally car. On the Outlander, the system has preprogrammed modes based on a driving particular condition such as snow. During our time with the Outlander, we encounter a day of snowy weather. Fortunately for us, the system performed flawlessly.

So, what's it like to drive?


This is where the Mitsubishi Outlander really falls short. We don't generally expect mass-market crossovers to drive like sports cars, but also don't expect them to drive like pickup truck from the 90s. Also, models like the Honda CR-V and the Volkswagen Tiguan prove that you can have a crossover that drives fairly well.

So where do I start?

First off, the Outlander is grossly underpowered. The 166 horsepower four-banger and CVT combo just doesn't have enough juice to haul around a 3,500 pound SUV with passengers and cargo. Even though it does trick you with a nice kick off the line, it runs out of steam quicker than an asthmatic on a treadmill.

The engine strains mightily under hard acceleration which makes for an awful racket in the cabin.

I'm not sure how quickly 0-60 mph happens, but my best guess would be eventually. Edmunds clocked the four-cylinder Outlander at 9.2 seconds. That's on par with the 1998 Toyota Sienna minivan.

The 224 hp V6 is an available option, but you'd have to fork over more than $32,000 to do so.

The Outlander's ride was terribly harsh. Almost punishing for its occupants. This was made even worse by pothole-laden roads of New Jersey. In addition, the Outlander's handling left much to be desired. It drove like a vehicle of a much larger size. Going into corners, you can feel its body roll and its front end understeer.

On the other hand, the lone bright spot in the Outlander's driving dynamics is its steering which was quick and fairly communicative.

My verdict.

The Mitsubishi Outlander is the most lackluster of the more than 200 vehicles we have road tested over the past couple of years.

The wheezy engine, the pedestrian acceleration, the jarring ride, ponderous handling, and noisy cabin make for a vehicle that's hard to love.

But not all is lost.

Driving dynamics aside, the Outlander is objectively a good car. It looks good, it has a lot of room, an infotainment system that works, plenty of driver assistance features and a trick four-wheel-drive system.

Unfortunately, it's just not good enough to go head-to-head with rivals from Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. The Outlander competes in what is perhaps the most brutally competitive segment of the market. Everyone brings their A-game when it comes to compact crossovers and Mitsubishi just doesn't have the resources to win on product alone.

But, Mitsubishi has been willing to discount. We've seen dealers advertising new Outlanders for as much as $9,000 below MSRP.

And that's the gamechanger for the Outlander.

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