India’s veteran goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said it means a lot to achieve 25 clean sheets. Sandhu achieved the 25th clean sheet of his career in the Blue Tigers’ 1-0 win against Kuwait at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium on Thursday.
Manvir Singh scored for the visitors in the 75th minute to give a crucial lead to the team. Sandhu was also brilliant in front of the goalpost and made the most of his experience.
“It means a lot to achieve such numbers (25 clean sheets), and they will mean even more if we keep getting success as a team and move forward,” Sandhu said in an interview with the-aiff.com.
“It’s easy to give a goalkeeper more credit for a clean sheet but trust me, the 10 players in front earn it first by putting in the work,” he further added.
India will take on the defending AFC Asian Cup champions, Qatar, in their next FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier game, at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. The Blue Tigers registered a goalless draw against Qatar in 2019 and will be looking to replicate the same success or go one step ahead on Tuesday in this crucial game.
Sandhu recalled this remarkable match: “I remember going into that game knowing there was no pressure on us.”
“It wasn’t just one man but all of us together with one thought – to make it difficult for the opponent, play the long game, stay alive for as long as we can, and who knows, we can get something out of it,” Sandhu added.
“I always felt after that game that I have played tougher games than that (0-0 vs Qatar), but the results didn’t end up in clean sheets. I would say it is definitely in the top five games in my memory.”
Since then, India has gone through a transition and they are a different team. India will look to come up with a collective effort and deliver the goods on the pitch.
“We are a different team now. More evolved, less scared, more aggressive, and hungry,” Sandhu shared.
“We don’t need to look that far for inspiration. Now, we have players who have played more football together over the years and are peaking. We have definitely moved upwards from 2019 as a team. Our recent performances are a testament for us to keep pushing and believing,” he concluded.