Gurpreet Singh Sandhu becomes first Indian to start in European top division

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Image Courtesy: © Twitter - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu becomes first Indian to start in European top division

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Arun S Kaimal


Indian national team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu created history on Sunday, becoming the first Indian footballer to start a European top division match after he made a debut for Stabæk FC in the Tippeligaen. Gurpreet kept a clean sheet and emerged victorious after Stabæk defeated IK Start 5-0.

The former East Bengal shot-stopper, who is second in the pecking order at the club behind Sayouba Mande, has been starting for Norwegian club Stabæk in cup competitions and friendlies. Gurpreet made the most of the rare opportunity he got in the league, and kept a clean sheet for Stabæk, who are caught in a relegation battle. Stabæk FC are currently 15th in the 16-team league, and will next face 10th placed Sogndal on July 3.

Gurpreet will now travel to Vientiane to join up with the Indian national team for the first leg of their 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualification play-off match against Laos on June 2.

Sandhu, who joined Stabæk in the summer of 2014, had made his senior debut for the club in a friendly match against second-tier side Follo the following year. He had also become the first-ever Indian to captain a European side after leading the reserve team of Stabæk against FC Senja last month.  

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