Kerala Blasters FC ensured that they will enter the Indian Super League playoffs with a win at their back after defeating Hyderabad FC by 3-1 at the Gachibowli Stadium on Friday.

Mohammed Aimen scored and assisted once each as Daisuke Sakai and Nihal Sudeesh netted too to help the Blasters cap off a clinical outing against the Thangboi Singto-coached team. Joao Victor scored a late consolation goal as they rounded off their campaign with a solitary win to their name in 22 matches.

Kerala Blasters had not tasted a win in any of their five matches before this game. They had in fact drawn once and lost four matches, as a host of injury issues came together to derail the solid campaign that they endured in the first half of the season.

That strong head-start, however, ensured that the Ivan Vukomanovic-coached team became the fifth team to qualify for the ISL playoffs, but their recent run of form had raised concerns over their possible performances in the coming stage of the competition.

On Friday, it was the home side who created chances early on with Victor and Makan Chothe testing Lara Sharma in the Blasters goal.

But it was the visitors who drew first blood with Aimen guiding his header off a Saurav Mandal cross past a diving Laxmikant Kattimani.

Mandal is perhaps providing Vukomanovic answers to his goal-scoring questions ahead of the playoffs. Six minutes into the second half, Mandal stormed into the box from the right, catching the Hyderabad FC defence off-guard. He launched in a low cross for Daisuke Sakai, who tapped the ball in to double the lead for the visitors.

Aimen turned the provider in the 81st minute, laying up a fairly straightforward delivery for Nihal on the right side of the box, who slotted the ball right into goal.

Hyderabad got their consolation goal late on when Alex Saji headed the ball towards Victor who smashed it into goal off the crossbar.

The Blasters finished fifth with 33 points and will face Odisha FC or FC Goa in their knockout match.