Bartholomew Ogbeche celebrates a goal against SC East Bengal.© Instagram
Bartholomew Ogbeche scored a hat-trick as Hyderabad FC reclaimed its top spot in the Indian Super League with a dominant 4-0 win over SC East Bengal at Tilak Maidan Stadium on Monday. Ogbeche’s triple attack (21st, 44th, 74th minute) extended his lead in the goalscoring charts. Aniket Jadhav (45 1) also made it onto the scoresheet for the Nizams. The result took them to the top of the table with 20 points, ahead of Kerala Blasters FC on goal difference. Joao Victor tested Arindam Bhattacharjee early in the game from a free kick after a strong start by the Nizams. The goalkeeper was later called into action several times after he had to make saves from Sauvik Chakrabarti and Aniket Jadhav.
However, the keeper couldn’t keep the ball out for long when Bartholomew Ogbeche’s header escaped his grasp and landed in the net for the first goal.
SC East Bengal showed itself better after the drink break in the first half. They almost scored the equalizer, but a save from Laxmikant Kattimani and a goal line from Joao kept Hyderabad’s lead intact.
In the 41st minute, HFC doubled their lead after a comedy of errors by SCEB defense allowed Ogbeche to weave past the keeper and score with ease.
Aniket Jadhav then caused even more misery by scoring the third after a few minutes. His low shot from the left wing found the bottom right corner and the Nizams went into halftime with a three-goal lead.
Marcelo Ribeiro made his debut from the bench in the second half when the Red & Gold Brigade tried to find a breakthrough.
However, it was HFC who scored the fourth when Ogbeche finally got his first hat-trick of the season in the 75th minute. Javier Siverio’s shot ended up in the path of the Nigerian, who made no mistake by sliding the ball into the back of the net.
SCEB were awarded a penalty after Ribeiro stumbled into the penalty area, but the penalty was well saved by Kattimani, who had correctly guessed Franjo Prce’s attempt.
The Nizams kept the nil intact for the rest of the game, taking important three points.
Hyderabad FC will face Odisha FC in their next match on Thursday, while SC East Bengal awaits a rigorous test from ATK Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata Derby in Margao on Saturday.
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