Seventeen games. Seventeen goals. Bartholomew Ogbeche is looking unstoppable at the ISL this season.

His 17th goal and a late strike from substitute Javier Siverio gave Hyderabad FC a 2-1 win against Kerala Blasters at Bambolim's GMC Athletic Stadium on Wednesday night. Vincy Barretto’s injury-time goal was a bit too late for Blasters.

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Hyderabad has thus not just consolidated its position at the top of the table with 35 points, but booked a place in the semifinals as well, for the first time. It has now extended its lead over the second-placed Jameshdpur FC to four points.

ATK Mohun Bagan is third on 30 points. Blasters remains fifth on 27 points, one point behind Mumbai City.

So the men from Kochi have some work to do in their remaining games. On this night, they were humbled by a superb show from Hyderabad, which defended stoutly and attacked with purpose.

The intent was visible from early on, as Joel Chianese had a shot at the goal inside the opening 30 seconds. Hyderabad kept up the pressure and took the lead near the half-hour mark.

A splendid long ball from Mohammed Yasir found Rohit Danu inside the box and he headed it towards Ogbeche, who stopped the ball and deftly sent it to the goal after beating defender Bijoy Varghese.

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After the interval, both teams created chances but it was Hyderabad that converted first. With just three minutes left in normal time, a fine cross from substitute Nikhil Poojary was headed in by fellow-substitute Siverio.

That goal virtually sealed the victory for Hyderabad. The powerful strike from just outside the box by Barretto would only reduce the margin for Blasters, which missed the services of  the suspended Jorge Pereyra Diaz.