National football team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has achieved a historic feat as he became the first Indian to feature in a top-tier league match in Europe by turning out for his Norwegian side Stabaek FC and kept a clean slate against the bottom-placed side IK Start on Sunday. Stabaek won the match convincingly by a 5-0 margin.
Sandhu said, "This match was very important for me and I am happy that I could keep a clean slate. It was not that easy out on the field as the scoreline suggests. The weather was difficult, but I managed to pull through."
"Proud to become the First Indian ever to start in a Top Division League game in Europe!!!!," Sandhu tweeted.
Sandhu, who signed for Stabaek FC in 2014, has not played in the Tippeligaen till yesterday though he has already featured in five matches in the Norwegian Cup. He has thus far played second fiddle to Ivorian goalkeeper Sayouba Mande who is the first choice Stabaek FC goalkeeper.
Sandhu has been the number one goalkeeper in the Indian team since Stephen Constantine took over last year, with the English coach preferring him to veteran Subrata Paul.
The 24-year-old Indian will directly join the national team in Laos where India are playing their play-off match of the 2019 Asian Cup Qualifiers on June 2.