Diego Maraotter was on the edge of his enclosure.
When Croatia went up 1-0 early against Brazil in the first match of the Football World Cup a loud cry of gooooooooooooallllllllllllllllllllll went up. Maraotter gave a tiny musteliade paw pump.
His pundit competition, our football writers Tony Smith and Sam Worthington, clutched their heads in their hands.
Maraotter hurried back and forward around its Wellington Zoo home.
The nerves were warranted, Brazil striking back with ease and then dominating the rest of the first half.
The second half started much the same, with Brazil all class. Then came the dive. Maraotter was thrown into a rage.
"I'm normally a fan of a good dive and swim around, but that ref was completely sucked in by Fred's collapse in the penalty box. It was the nail in my first-pick coffin."
Worthington was also left peeved, his prediction of a draw slipping away with each blast of the ref's whistle. Smith, however, was seen sambaing near his desk.
Maraotter has decided to channel his fury and was bullish in picking the Netherlands to beat world champions Spain tomorrow.
''I'm such a fan of their orange kit. They look like oranges with arms. Yum.''
Worthington, for the second time, is riding the fenceline and picking a draw. Snore.
Smith is calling a win for the Spaniards - even though they get a lot of wraps for their silken skill, he reckons their defence is impregnable.
They often win big games 1-0 and should chalk up another here, Smith said.
Tony Smith 1
Sam Worthington 0
* Join us each day through the tournament to watch who Maraotter opts for in a battle royale of football wits.
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