After a long-haul flight, it is always nice to be greeted by a friendly face.
And Caltex Socceroos defender Thomas Deng got just that when he arrived back in Melbourne on Wednesday evening (AEDT).
Less than 48 hours after making his debut for Australia in a 4-0 friendly win in Kuwait, Deng walked through the arrival gates at Melbourne Airport with a beaming smile.
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And although he was on the phone, he had to stop his conversation to break out into laughter.
The reason for his giggles? Because a nearby man, dressed in a black suit and acting as a chauffeur, was none other than Melbourne Victory teammate Kenny Athiu.
Athiu called out ‚ÄėMr Deng‚Äô in the terminal and was holding a sign that read ‚ÄėMR DENG (1 CAP)‚Äô.
Deng‚Äôs appearance for the Caltex Socceroos in Kuwait was his first for the national team.
He came off the bench with 14 minutes remaining, replacing Josh Risdon, and was first on the scene to celebrate with fellow South Sudanese refugee, Awer Mabil, after his late goal.
Mabil – a childhood friend of Deng‚Äôs in South Australia – also made his debut in the match.