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ALBION TO FACE SANDAZA IN SPAIN

23 June 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Francesco Sandaza with Albion's League One winners' trophy in 2011.

Brighton & Hove Albion will come up against one of their former strikers when they face Girona in their penultimate pre-season friendly in Spain - with Francesco Sandaza lining up for the La Liga new boys.
 
Sandaza scored four goals in 19 appearances for the Seagulls after moving to the south coast from Dundee United in 2010 - with his most memorable strike coming in the 96th minute against Oldham Athletic which sent Albion top of the table.


Brought in by then-manager Gus Poyet during Albion’s League One-winning season, Sandaza secured a vital three points for the Seagulls on only his second appearance, coming off the bench to seal a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Latics.
 
Sandaza became well known for making a late impact in games, as he also struck twice more in stoppage time throughout the season - with a 93rd-minute effort against Plymouth Argyle before a 91st-minute strike against Portsmouth in the FA Cup.
 
The forward’s other goal came during an FA Cup replay against FC United of Manchester – when Albion convincingly overcame their non-league opponents after a shock 1-1 draw at the Withdean.
 
Sandaza won a League One winners’ medal during his only season at the club, before moving to St Johnstone in July 2011 - where he scored 17 goals in 34 games to earn a move to Rangers.
 
Moves to Spanish clubs Lugo and Girona followed, and then a short spell playing for FC Tokyo in Japan - but Sandaza returned to Girona in July 2016 and currently has 25 goals from his two spells at the club.
 
Sandaza was a prominent member of Girona’s 2016/17 promotion-winning squad, and the striker will now get the chance to compete in Spain’s top division - but only after coming up against the Seagulls for the first time since departing in 2011.


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