OBERHAUSEN, Germany (AFP) – An octopus in Germany called Paul who has shot to stardom for his spot-on World Cup predictions forecast on Tuesday a quarter-final win by Germany over Argentina.
But in view perhaps of the tougher opposition that Diego Maradona's side will pose Germany on Saturday than England did last Sunday, the eight-legged soccer soothsayer took more than an hour to decide.
Ahead of the England game, which saw Germany's young guns demolish Fabio Capello's ageing Premier League stars 4-1, Paul needed just eight seconds to make up his mind.
Sunday's encounter in Cape Town, therefore, might go to extra time -- or even penalties.
Two plastic boxes, one with a German flag and one with their opponent's, are lowered into Paul's tank at Sea Life in Oberhausen in western Germany, each with a tasty morsel of food inside.
The box which Paul opens first is adjudged to be his predicted winner.
Earlier in the tournament, the eight-legged oracle correctly tipped Germany to beat Ghana and Australia in their Group D matches. And proving he is not just attracted by Germany's flag, he also correctly predicted a loss to Serbia.
Even though he was born in England, he also treacherously but correctly foretold Germany's win over his native country in their last-16 clash on Sunday.
Argentina coach Maradona should not throw in the towel just yet, however, as Paul has been wrong before. For the European Championships in 2008, his success rate was only 80 percent.