Caltex Socceroo fan urges public to experience ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ night

John Pignatoro was there in 2005 – the Caltex Socceroo fan’s recollections bringing him to tears.

Now, 12 years on from the Uruguay intercontinental qualifier at Stadium Australia - where Australia qualified for a World Cup for the first time in 32 years - the drama is back.

Wednesday night. Stadium Australia. The Socceroos v Honduras – Australia’s final hurdle for a place at the 2018 World Cup.

It’s winner-takes-all. This is it. The last game in qualification!

And John’s urging anyone who doesn’t have a ticket to not miss the edge of the seat, thrill-a-minute football that looms.

“It’s difficult to put into words. You’re full of excitement and confusion, not knowing what is going to transpire,” John tells

“When you get to the ground, though, there is a feeling of ‘we’re going to do this’. That’s what happened with the Uruguay game.

John Aloisi celebrates after scoring the penalty that sent Australia to the 2006 World Cup.


“I’m hopeful that’s exactly what’s going to happen on Wednesday when I get to the ground and see all the fans there.

“It’s great for people who have never been to a game before, especially people who aren’t real football supporters.

“If you come to a game like this it will turn you around because the atmosphere, the passion, the excitement, you can’t experience it anywhere else.

“I’ve been to the Olympics before, to Grand Finals, and there is nothing that comes close to matching the atmosphere of a game like this.

Socceroos fan
Caltex Socceroos fan John Pignatoro

“My advice is to go to the game and check it out because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“This is actually my second opportunity to experience something like this. 12 years ago I went through exactly the same emotional rollercoaster and it’s a memory that lasts forever. If you haven’t done it before, I highly recommend seeing us go out there.

“My youngest is too young to go out that night of the week but I’m going to take my middle boy.

“Even though it will be a late night for him, I’m sure it will be a memory that will stay with him for a long time.

“I saw a video of one of the Uruguay players speaking about when they played us in 2005 and he said when Bresciano scored that goal he hadn’t experienced anything like that ever before and he had played on many, many big stages.”

Marco Bresciano