Wednesday , 24 April 2019


Humiliating Defeat for Brazil-I
CALL it the aftershock of Neymar’s life-threatening injury, or the immense pressure of playing the must-win semi-final in front of the home crowd, the tournament favourite Brazil just buckled perhaps like never before, completely out beaten by the indomitable European masters Germans, losing 1-7, marking the unwanted low in FIFA World Cup semi-finals. Those of us who braved the midnight sleep were up for rude shock and unprecedented disbelief as goals were scored effortlessly by the Germans. The moment Shweinsteiger’s superb corner kick with an immaculate trajectory deceived the Brazilian defence; Mueller opened the account with a fine flick off his feet. The next four goals of the first half came in a flurry of unbelievable six minutes; two of them being scored in as many minutes, with clinical finishes, penetrating the hapless Brazilian defence that was badly found wanting. As the Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari fretted and fumed, his German counterpart Loew looked a highly complacent man, amidst the spectators shedding uncontrollable tears. In the second half Brazil looked more focussed at the start but when the mercurial Miroslav Klose who earlier set the FIFA world record of scoring 16 goals in 23 appearances was called back, apparently to conserve his potentials for the finals and was substituted by Schuerrle, nothing much was perhaps expected from him. Yet, without losing time to find his grove, he scored two stinging goals in a span of few minutes that raised the German tally to seven goals. Never perhaps in history was the Brazilian defence put to such horrid test by any opponent. The saving grace for the five-time world champions was the lone goal scored by Oscar in the winding 90th minute of the game. So as Germans advance to the finals, Brazil winds up the campaign in ignominy much to the disappointment of many.
Humiliating Defeat for Brazil-II
IT was the most disappointing start when Brazil conceded four goals in what appeared to be shoddy defence; the goals were five before the first half. The dismal showing broke the heart of the nation and millions of enthusiastic supporters across the world. The end was agonising, and with seven goals Brazil did not find the elusive net. The absence of Neymar and Silva had telling effect on Brazil, which did not show any jest for a win. There is no doubt that everyone had predicted Germany’s victory, but not a humiliating defeat for Brazil. The Brazilians were outwitted in all aspects of the game. In the second half they grouped together, but not effective to be any threat to the German solid defence. The dream of Brazil is shattered beyond repairs to live for another day, may be hopefully in the next World Cup. The Germans created records in goal scoring, but must be accepted as the most coordinated outfit deserving appreciation, much against popular perception. It was Oscar in the dying moments who redeemed some pride of his team.
NELSON LOPES, Chinchinim
Vatican, Exorcism and Science
THE Vatican has finally given its approval to the exorcisms as practised by the International Association of Exorcists, a group of about 250 Catholic priests in around 30 countries of the world, who claim to free demons from those supposedly possessed by evil spirits. At present, exorcisms in the Catholic Church are carefully planned rituals which can be performed only by the bishop and priests specially trained for the purpose by the bishop. These exorcisms are carried out only in exceptional cases as it is the Church’s belief that many who claim to be possessed by the devil, are in fact suffering from some psychological ailment like depression and are therefore urged to undergo medical treatment instead. However, it cannot be denied that diabolical possessions are on the rise due to people indulging in occultism, black magic and satanic rituals. As a result exorcisms are thriving in western countries where the term ‘demonic possession’ is often misused by some Charismatics and Pentecostals to mislead the gullible who are set free by the laying of hands in the exorcisms performed on them. However, it remains a mystery why a saintly woman like Mother Teresa asked to be exorcised before dying in 1997.
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim

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