Diego Forlan scored the first hat-trick of the 2016 season to help Mumbai City FC demolish Kerala Blasters 5-0 and register their biggest win at home at the Andheri sports complex in Mumbai. It was Mumbai's fifth win of the season and it took them above Delhi Dynamos to the top of the table.
Forlan opened the scoring in the fifth minute and added to his tally in the 14th and the 63rd minute before goals from Otacilio Brito Alves and Lucian Goian rounded off a fantastic night for Alexandre Guimarães' side.
After two back-to-back wins, in-form Kerala Blasters suffered the fourth loss of the season. Mumbai City have both their remaining matches at home and will feel confident that they can do enough against Chennaiyin FC and Delhi Dynamos to take them to the play-offs.
Forlan picked up a lob from Defederico in the fifth minute, beat the off-side trap, and then sidestepped Sandesh Jhingan before coolly placing the ball past goalkeeper Graham Stack to put the hosts 1-0 up.
He then made it made it 2-0 in the 14th minute with a curling free-kick from just outside the box, finding the top corner.
Kerala Blasters did not have too many chances in the opening 45 minutes and Mumbai goalkeeper Amrinder Singh did not have a save to make. All that Kerala Blasters threw at the goalkeeper were long, hopeful shots which were off target.
Forlan completed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute. From a goal-mouth melee, Jhingan's header fell for Cafu just outside the box and the Brazilian immediately set-up Forlan on the left. Mumbai's marquee slotted the ball into the goal for ISL's first hat-trick this season.
Forlan was immediately substituted following his third, but Mumbai City continued to attack. Cafu scored a screamer with his left-foot in the 69th minute after receiving a pass from Defederico and running past two defenders to make it 4-0. Goian then completed the rout in 73rd minute, jumping high and powerfully heading in a corner from Defederico.
The embarrassing defeat left Kerala Blasters in a precarious position and they will now need to win two of their last three matches against Pune City, Atletico de Kolkata and NorthEast United FC to be assured of qualification.