Australia's almost forgotten man, Tim Cahill, roared back during and after Tuesday night's pulsating 1-1 draw with Japan.
Japan's long-time arch-nemesis, who buried the Blue Samurai with two goals at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Cahill made a mockery of coach Holger Osieck's decision to overlook him against Oman on the weekend.
The Everton star was arguably Australia's best player at Brisbane Stadium as the 10-man Socceroos almost snatched a win for the ages in front of 40,189 fans.
Seemingly on the outer with Osieck before the World Cup qualifier, Cahill made the most of his injection from the outset.
Paired with Alex Brosque up front, the fired-up 32-year-old was full of vim and vigour and a constant menace for the Japanese defence.
He looked much like the Cahill of old, the one who came off the bench in Kaiserslautern six years ago to the day - but just couldn't convert his chances.
"I enjoyed it tonight, the lads enjoyed it, it was just unfortunate we didn't get the result," he said.
"The thing is I create chances and I score goals. Tonight I was unfortunate but (I'm a) team player."
It took him just six minutes to make an impact, chesting down a long ball, turning expertly to the left and firing off a shot which goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima blocked.
Cahill continued to win each header which came his way and was equally impressive at the other end of the pitch to thwart the crisp and creative visitor.
He moved into the midfield when Mark Milligan was controversially sent off in the 56th minute after a dubious second yellow card, and continued to have an influence with tiring legs.
A penalty to Luke Wilkshire, one of six 2006 World Cup players who started, ensured the draw and Cahill was quick to hit out at critics of the "ageing" Australians after the final whistle.
"I'm bored of it, I've said it before, I'm bored of listening to that sort of stuff," he roared.
"The thing is we play for our country because we love it and we don't play here to get bagged. They should support football and stop bagging us."