From Subrata Paul to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the Indian team have had a safe pair of hands under the sticks…
Since 2005, the Indian national football team have won several laurels like the SAFF Championship (2005, 2009, 2011, 2015), the AFC Challenge Cup (2008), the Nehru Cup (2007, 2009, 2012) to name a few. During this period, the Blue Tigers have kept 44 clean sheets out of 155 matches (28.38 %).
Subrata Paul became the India’s custodian in goal in the 2007 Nehru Cup, taking over the mantle from Sandip Nandy, and in that very tournament, he was adjudged the best goalkeeper. One of the most memorable performances came in the final where he put up an impressive show to keep Syrian attacks at bay and helped India clinch their maiden Nehru Cup title by a narrow 1-0 margin.
In the next year, India won the AFC Challenge Cup to secure participation in the AFC Asian Cup 2011, and in that tournament, they kept two clean sheets against Afghanistan and Myanmar respectively. Although the Asian Cup 2011 campaign ended in disappointment, Paul stood out with his heroics under the sticks.
However, in the same year, India won the SAFF Championship and Karanjit Singh kept three clean sheets including one in the final against Afghanistan. But Paul returned to the fray soon enough in the next edition of the Nehru Cup in 2012 and helped India clinch the title for the third time. India enjoyed the services of the Kolkata-based keeper till the earlier half of the 2010s and he was ably succeeded by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. In his career, the former India international has kept 20 clean sheets.
In the last few years, India have managed to eke out some historic results against superior teams like China and Qatar and on both occasions, there was one common element; Gurpreet Sandhu. Against Marcello Lippi’s China, India held their shape and frustrated the likes Wu Lei and Yu Dabao and the Bengaluru FC keeper brought out his A-game to get a clean sheet away from home. He was protected by a back-four which comprised of Narayan Das, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose, and Pritam Kotal.
Similarly against Qatar, India held on to a 0-0 scoreline at the Jassam Bin Hamad stadium, which is one of the remarkable results in Indian football history. After the match, Qatar’s coach Felix Sanchez went on to comment, “it was India’s goalkeeper who denied us the three points.” To date, Sandhu has 14 international clean sheets to his name.
India will return to action in international football when they face Bangladesh on Monday in the SAFF Championship 2021 at the National Football Stadium in Male. Before that, we take a look at all the clean sheets that India have kept in the last decade.
|1||16/06/2005||Pakistan vs India||3-0||Friendly||Satish Kumar|
|2||10/12/2005||India vs Bhutan||3-0||SAFF Championship||Sandip Nandy|
|3||14/12/2005||Maldives vs India||0-1||SAFF Championship||Sandip Nandy|
|4||17/12/2005||India vs Bangladesh||2-0||SAFF Championship||Sandip Nandy|
|5||17/08/2007||India vs Cambodia||6-0||Nehru Cup||Subrata Paul|
|6||20/08/2007||India vs Bangladesh||1-0||Nehru Cup||Subrata Paul|
|7||26/08/2007||India vs Kyrgyzstan||3-0||Nehru Cup||Subrata Paul|
|8||29/08/2007||India vs Syria||1-0||Nehru Cup||Subrata Paul|
|9||24/05/2008||India vs Chinese Taipei||3-0||Friendly||Subrata Paul|
|10||03/06/2008||Nepal vs India||0-4||SAFF Cup||Subrata Paul|
|11||30/07/2008||India vs Afghanistan||1-0||AFC Challenge Cup||Subrata Paul|
|12||07/08/2008||India vs Myanmar||1-0||AFC Challenge Cup||Subrata Paul|
|14||15/09/2010||India vs Namibia||2-0||Friendly||Subrata Paul|
|15||21/03/2011||India vs Taiwan||3-0||AFC Challenge Cup Qualifier||Subrata Paul|
|16||05/12/2011||India vs Bhutan||5-0||SAFF Cup||Karanjit Singh|
|17||07/12/2011||India vs Sri Lanka||3-0||SAFF Cup||Karanjit Singh|
|18||11/12/2011||India vs Afghanistan||4-0||SAFF Cup||Karanjit Singh|
|19||25/08/2012||India vs Maldives||3-0||Nehru Cup||Subrata Paul|
|20||28/08/12||India vs Nepal||0-0||Nehru Cup||Subrata Paul|
|21||04/03/2013||India vs Guam||4-0||AFC Challenge Cup Qualifier||Subrata Paul|
|22||01/09/2013||India vs Pakistan||1-0||SAFF Cup||Subrata Paul|
|23||09/09/2013||India vs Maldives||1-0||SAFF Cup||Subrata Paul|
|24||19/11/2013||India vs Nepal||2-0||Friendly||Karanjit Singh|
|25||12/3/2015||India vs Nepal||2-0||World Cup Qualifier||Subrata Paul|
|26||17/3/2015||Nepal vs India||0-0||World Cup Qualifier||Subrata Paul|
|27||31/08/2015||India vs Nepal||0-0||Friendly||Subrata Paul
Sub: Karanjit Singh
|28||12/11/2015||India vs Guam||1-0||World Cup Qualifier||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|29||25/12/2015||India vs Sri Lanka||2-0||SAFF Cup||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|30||02/06/2016||Laos vs India||0-1||Asian Cup Qualifier||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|31||18/08/2016||Bhutan vs India||0-3||Friendly||Subrata Paul|
|32||28/03/2017||Myanmar vs India||0-1||Asian Cup Qualifier||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|33||06/06/2017||India vs Nepal||2-0||Friendly||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|34||13/06/2017||India vs Kyrgyzstan||1-0||Asian Cup Qualifier||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|35||05/09/2017||Macau vs India||0-2||Asian Cup Qualifier||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|36||01/06/2018||India vs Taiwan||5-0||Intercontinental Cup||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|37||04/06/2018||India vs Kenya||3-0||Intercontinental Cup||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|38||10/06/2018||India vs Kenya||2-0||Intercontinental Cup||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|39||05/09/2018||India vs Sri Lanka||2-0||SAFF Cup||Vishal Kaith|
|40||09/09/2018||India vs Maldives||2-0||SAFF Cup||Vishal Kaith|
|41||13/10/2018||China vs India||0-0||Friendly||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|42||27/12/2018||Oman vs India||0-0||Friendly||Amrinder Singh
Sub: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
|43||08/06/2019||India vs Thailand||1-0||King’s Cup||Amrinder Singh|
|44||10/09/2019||Qatar vs India||0-0||World Cup Qualifier||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|
|45||07/06/2021||Bangladesh vs India||0-2||World Cup Qualifier||Gurpreet Singh Sandhu|