There was a lot to like about the Caltex Socceroos win over Kuwait on Tuesday (AEDT) but arguably the biggest highlight was the international debuts of youngsters Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng.
The pair were both second-half substitutes and combined on the right flanks, with Mabil scoring the final goal in the 4-0 victory.
It’s been an incredible journey for the two childhood friends, who were South Sudanese refugees over a decade ago to now playing together for the Caltex Socceroos.
Their story drew plenty of reaction on social media, with former Manchester United and France star Patrice Evra leading the tributes.
Mabil and Deng both described making their international debuts as a dream come true and they received plenty of love from those in the Australian football community.
Their remarkable story also caught the imagination of Caltex Socceroos fans, who were quick to pay tribute to the Kenyan-born duo.