By Our Sports Desk
Nigerian striker Bartholomew Ogbeche is now the leading all-time highest goalscorer in the Indian Super League (ISL).
Bartholomew Ogbeche, a 37-year-old forward, scored a brace for his club Hyderabad FC on either side of halftime to take him top of the charts in the Hero Indian Super League’s all-time scorers’ list.
With Ogbeche’s goals, Hyderabad FC thrashed NorthEast United FC 5-0 on Monday.
The former Nigerian international scored in the third and 60th minute to take his tally to 14 goals this season and overall number to 49, one more than Sunil Chhetri and Ferran Corominas who are tied on 48 goals.
The Nigerian striker achieved the feat in just three-and-half years in India’s premier club competition. He scored all goals for NorthEast United FC, Kerala Blasters FC and Hyderabad FC. Ogbeche is the all-time highest goalscorer in a season for these clubs. He scored 12 goals for NorthEast United, 14 for Kerala Blasters and has already had 14 goals to his name in 13 matches this season.
He only failed to hit double-digit while he was with Mumbai FC, for whom he scored just 8 goals.
“For four great seasons, he scores goals,” Hyderabad FC coach Manolo Márquez said after Ogbeche’s record-breaking feat. “He is a great player for our team. We are very happy to have him in our team.”
Ogbeche’s teammates Akash Mishra, Nikhil Poojary, and Edu Garcia also found the back of the net as Manolo Marquez’s men ran riot at the PJN Stadium to stretch the lead at the top to four points.
Hyderabad FC’s win over NorthEast United FC means they did the double on the Highlanders. They have 26 points from 14 games.
EAGLE EYE NEWS24 reports that the Nigerian striker has played his club football in France, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Greece, England, the Netherlands and India, notably becoming the all-time top scorer of NorthEast United, Kerala Blasters and Hyderabad in the Indian Super League.
Ogbeche represented Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup, playing two matches in the competition his country failed to advance past the group stages.
Ogbeche was signed by French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and made his debut with the main squad during the 2001–02 season.
However, he failed to settle due to injury and subsequently went on two six-month loans, to fellow league sides Bastia and Metz; for the former, he scored in a 4–1 home win against Olympique de Marseille on 7 March 2004– the Corsicans secured their top-flight status, and he left PSG for good in June 2005.
He later moved to Alavés in Spain’s Segunda División from the United Arab Emirates.
Although he posted good individual numbers, the Basque team failed to return to La Liga. He later he joined another club in the former tier, Real Valladolid, making his debut on 26 August 2007 in a 1–0 away victory over Espanyol. He played 12 minutes in the game.
Ogbeche joined Andalusia’s Cádiz of the second division in a one-year deal in late August 2009. He finished the campaign as team top scorer but they finished in 19th position and were relegated.
After one year in Greece with Kavala, Ogbeche joined Football League Championship side Middlesbrough on 18 October 2011, signing until the end of the season. He scored his first goal for the club on 17 December, against Cardiff City in a 3–2 away win.
On 5 March 2012, he came on as a substitute towards the end of the home game against Barnsley, lobbing the ball over Luke Steele for the final 2–0.
Ogbeche moved clubs and countries again in January 2014, signing for Cambuur in the Netherlands after a very brief spell back in Spain with Xerez. He scored once and provided an assist in his Eredivisie debut, helping to a 3–1 home defeat of Heerenveen.
On 25 August 2018, Ogbeche joined NorthEast United in India. He made his Indian Super League debut on 1 October, scoring once in the 2–2 draw against Goa. During the same month, he became the player first to manage a hat-trick during the campaign after achieving the feat in ten minutes away to Chennaiyin.