Star Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is all set to start for Bengaluru FC in the club’s first ever Indian Super League (ISL) match on November 19th. The JSW-owned side will make their debut against Mumbai City FC at their home, Kanteerava Stadium, on Sunday.
Sandhu was roped in by Bengaluru FC during the summer transfer window from Norwegian club Stabaek FC. However, Bengaluru had already completed their quota of 18 Indian players before Gurpreet's signing, which meant he was registered with the reserve squad.
Ahead of the ISL players draft, the Bengaluru-based club had retained the services of four players, skipper Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh, Nishu Kumar and Malsawmzuala. They had also retained striker Daniel Lahimpuia and registered him with their reserve side.
In the players draft, they signed three Indian goalkeepers, namely Lalthuammawia Ralte, Abhra Mondal and Calvin Abhishek. However, there were certain conditions upon which Gurpreet could feature for Bengaluru in the ISL.
The first option was he could start playing after the first five matches of the team. The second was should any of the goalkeepers pick up an injury or even a slight knock ahead of their opening clash, Bengaluru could bring in Sandhu directly as a replacement into the starting eleven.
Goal understands that Ralte has picked up a knock ahead of the season opener and thus Gurpreet Sandhu will replace him under the bar against Mumbai City FC.
Sandhu has done a good job for Bengaluru FC in the four matches he played in the AFC Cup. He kept clean sheets in both the quarterfinal legs against DPR Korean April 25 SC. He conceded three against Istiklol in the two-legged semifinals but was impressive as he pulled off quite a few quality saves.