After a long break, Hyderabad FC were back to their best at the Tilak Maidan, as they defeated SC East Bengal 4-0, to reclaim the top spot in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 table in style on Monday night.
Bartholomew Ogbeche scored first with his head (21′), rounded the keeper and tapped it in with his left (44′) and capped off a memorable night with a brilliant strike with his right (74′) to register a perfect hat-trick, his first this season in the ISL.
Manolo Marquez’s men were dominant right from the start, and had plenty of arrays into the final third but it was a Souvik Chakrabarti corner that broke the deadlock. The ball in was perfect for Ogbeche, who found the back of the net after a deflection.
The hosts did manage to find a footing in the game and forced Laxmikant Kattimani and Joao Victor to make goal-line blocks as the half grew on. But Ogbeche barged through the SCEB center-back pairing, rounded Arindam and scored in style to take Hyderabad 2-0 up just before half-time.
Minutes later Aniket Jadhav added to it with a smart finish at the end of his trademark run and cut-in from the left. The youngster has been coming close to scoring in the last couple of games and finally found the far corner with precision to take Hyderabad into the break with a 3-goal lead.
Ogbeche finally completed his hat-trick, the first of his time with Hyderabad, with a thumping finish from just inside the box in the 74th minute. He is now the record goalscorer of the club with 12 goals to his name, going past Aridane Santana’s tally of 10.
A blatant dive from Marcelo Ribeiro saw East Bengal win a late spot-kick but Laxmikant Kattimani was determined to hold on to his clean sheet as he denied Franjo Prce from six yards out.
Javi Siverio came close to scoring on a few occasions while the likes of Nikhil Poojary, Hitesh Sharma and Souvik Chakrabarti ran the show all over the field. Asish Rai was immense on the flank while Joao Victor and Chinglensana Konsham made sure the hosts registered just five shots on target all game.
Hyderabad move back to the top of the table with this win and are level on points with Kerala Blasters. Manolo’s men have 20 points from 12 games.
They are back in action when they take on Odisha on Thursday (January 27), at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco.