New Zealand hero Rory Fallon believed his World Cup dream was over prior to scoring the winner against Bahrain.
The Plymouth striker secured New Zealand's first World Cup finals appearance since 1982 after bagging the only goal of the game in Wellington.
Fallon initially opted to play for England, but a change in Fifa regulations provided him with a second chance to finally represent the Kiwis.
The 27-year-old felt he might never get a chance to play for New Zealand and has thanked head coach Ricki Herbert for calling him up.
"I'm just thankful that I'm here because I thought that dream had gone," explained Fallon.
"When I was a young kid I made a bad mistake and I thought I'd live to regret it, so I'm just so thankful (Fifa changed the rules) and I'm so thankful to Rick as well for even selecting me, because he didn't have to."
Fallon admitted he was inspired prior to the game by the sight of the 1982 side doing a lap of honour around Westpac Stadium to commemorate their achievement.
"The 1982 team was a special team, and all the boys look up to the '82 team," he continued.
"I saw the '82 team during the warm-up and I thought 'we need to be in this World Cup because these people have been remembered for this long'."