Sun , 19 May 2019

Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu becomes the FIRST Indian to play in Top Division League in Europe

Baerum: Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu achieved a historic feat on Sunday after becoming the first Indian footballer to start in a European top-flight league game.

There was plenty of reason for the 24-year-old to celebrate as he kept a clean sheet in his first Tippeligaen start for Norwegian outfit Stabaek, helping them claim a dominant 5-0 triumph over Start.

Nonetheless, it was not Sandhu’s debut for the club as he had previously made five appearances in the Norwegian Cup, although he has thus far had to play second fiddle to Ivorian Sayouba Mande.
The Punjab native took to Twitter so share his excitement after the match, tweeting: “Proud to become the First Indian ever to start in a Top Division League game in Europe!!!!”
Since making his professional debut with I-League giants East Bengal, Sandhu has been tipped to go far and eventually earned a move to Norway when Stabaek came knocking.
Despite his relative youth, he is beginning to establish himself as India’s number one goalkeeper after being handed an opportunity by national team coach Stephen Constantine recently.
In the second round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifiers, Sandhu was initially behind veteran custodian Subrata Paul in the pecking order as the 29-year-old started in their first two matches.
But after consecutive 2-1 defeats, Constantine decided to put his faith in Sandhu, who went on to feature in all of their six remaining qualifiers, including their sole victory of the campaign when they beat Guam 1-0 last November.
Following the high of his history-making feat at the weekend, he will now turn his attention back to international duty, where India are looking to advance to the third round of Asian Cup qualifiers by beating Laos in a two-legged qualification playoff to be held on June 2 and 7.
Photo: AFP
News Credit: AFC.COM