Hyderabad FC moved to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table, and will stay there into the new year, after a 6-1 demolition of NorthEast United at the GMV Balayogi Athletic Stadium.
Javi Siverio scored a brace, while Borja Herrera, Odei Onaindia, and Joel Chianese also got onto the scoresheet, in addition to a Gaurav Bora own goal, while Aaron Evans scored the Highlanders' only goal of the match.
Both sides made a solitary change to their respective starting XIs. Mohammad Yasir returned for the hosts and Rohit Danu dropped to the bench. Sehnaj Singh came in to replace the suspended Jon Gaztanaga in the NorthEast United midfield.
Four goals were scored in the first half and the first one came in the eighth minute via Siverio. Herrera whipped a corner in over the defence before Siverio side-footed a volley past Mirshad Michu from close range.
Herrera turned from provider to scorer in the 24th minute when he cut in from the right flank before making his way past two NorthEast United FC defenders and getting his shot away. Mirshad got a glove to the ball but it snuck past him at the near post.
At the half-hour mark, the defending champions went three up. Herrera was at the heart of the move yet again. The Spanish midfielder's free-kick was headed clear by Bora but only as far as Onaindia, who pounced on it and buried it past the keeper.
Five minutes later, Wilmar Jordan's header was palmed over the bar by the keeper and a minute later, the Highlanders pulled a goal back. Hyderabad failed to clear the ball properly as Pragyan Gogoi played it into the box, where Aaron Evans skipped the offside trap and slotted it past Gurmeet Singh.
In the final quarter of the game, a long diagonal came to Yasir on the left flank. The winger put in a low cross that was tapped in by Siverio. Four minutes later, substitute Joel Chianese was picked out by Halicharan Narzary and scored with his first involvement in the game.
Ten minutes from time, Chianese rose highest to head a corner towards goal. The effort was parried by the keeper towards Bora and the defender only managed to head the ball back into his own net.