Could the Socceroos' longest-running selection puzzle finally be solved?
Josh Risdon's super performance at right back in Australia's 4-0 rout of Czech Republic on Friday certainly gave coach Bert van Marwijk hope that he could have found his man for the cursed position.
There were plenty of fine showings but it was the Western Sydney man's "total performance" that Van Marwijk singled out for rare praise after the match.
"I was very happy with the performance of Risdon," he said.
"I knew that in ball possession he can play as a full back but defending he must become much stronger.
"He didn't play for four, five weeks and he had an individual schedule.
"He worked very hard every day. So he deserves really to play there."
Risdon subdued the Czech threat down the right while combining well with Mat Leckie, who scored a double.
"I felt really good out there, very comfortable so I was very happy with how I played," Risdon said.
"Working under the likes of Bert and Mark (van Bommel, assistant coach) has definitely helped my game. I've definitely felt like I put the things I learned in training into the game today."
The search for a right-back also eluded Ange Postecoglou during his four-year reign.
Postecoglou tried out several players, including Risdon, in the role before changing formations to abolish the position, fielding Mat Leckie in an advance wide right role.
Risdon's performance effectively wins him a seat on the plane to Russia, with Josh Brillante and Fran Karacic now watching on nervously.
The pair are the other designated right-backs in the extended group of 27 and it seems certain that one will be cut when van Marwijk whittles the squad to 23 this weekend.
Alternatively, the curious decision to replace Risdon with Milos Degenek as right back late in the match suggests that he might be contemplating cutting both.
Risdon said he was delighted to ace his audition but wouldn't be getting ahead of himself.
"It's no secret that spot is up for grabs and I felt like it was a test ... I just went in confident and I just wanted to take my chance and I did that," he said.
"It is obviously such a big moment.
"Everyone wants to be there and unfortunately everyone can't. We'll wait and see. Fingers crossed and hopefully I did everything I can today to be there."