Gurpreet Singh Sandhu ruled out of second leg Europa League tie
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, or the first Indian to ever play in the Europa League got injured while playing for Norwegian club Stabaek in the first leg against Connah's Quay Nomads FC. The gigantic goalkeeper from Mohali played for East Bengal helping them to a memorable Semi-final appearance in the AFC cup in the year 2013.
He also became the first choice goalkeeper in recent time under coach Stephen Constantine, before sealing a move to the Norwegian club. He also became the first Indian to play in a major top-flight European club, which is quite an achievement.
The Indian goalie was named ahead of Ivory Coast’s Sayouba Mande, showing how much his manager Bill McKinlay trusts him. He was not given any minutes in the Norwegian Tippiligaen last season, but since Mckinlay took over as coach he has seen his fortunes turn, getting more chances.
Sources close to the goalkeeper say that he will not recover for the second leg of the Europa League, which would come as a huge blow for both the keeper and all Indian football fans who had been rooting for the Indian.
The keeper spoke to Sportskeeda about the result: “Well the game isn't over yet. One more match to play. But yes confident in my team’s ability. I saw a couple of tweets from my teammates felt nice that my efforts are appreciated by them." He added: "I hope more footballers in India take my path. It is worth taking if you're willing to make sacrifices." On his injury, he said: "I won't recover for the second leg, I think.”
The Indian got injured in the 30th minute of the crunch Europa league tie after injuring his finger, making a fine save in the 30 minutes that he played. The match ended in a goalless draw, giving the Indian a clean sheet that he would have loved to have.
Sandhu was also asked how it felt being the first ever Indian player to take part in a Europa League game, to which he stated: Haha not very well right now because of the injury. But yeah satisfied that i was trusted with such an opportunity"