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Bengaluru v Jamshedpur

ISL 2018-19: Mario Arques, Cesar Ferrando's changes make the difference in Bengaluru

12:23 PM SGT 8/10/18
Bengaluru Jamshedpur FC ISL
Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC shared the spoils from a 2-2 draw at the Kanteerava Stadium...

There were four goals and plenty of late drama at the Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday as Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC played out an entertaining stalemate. 

The headlines, which would have been about Tim Cahill's Indian Super League (ISL) debut for Jamshedpur FC, focused on Mario Arques' masterclass in midfield. 

The 26-year-old Spanish midfielder dictated the tempo for the Men of Steel and had plenty of joy in picking out passes all over the pitch throughout the game. After scoring a goal in the first match against Mumbai City, the midfield maestro turned provider this time around and assisted both the goals scored by Jamshedpur FC.

Arques was instrumental in Jamshedpur getting back in the game after trailing twice and of course, he had help from his head coach who was bold with his substitutions. 

Cahill and Soosairaj were handed their debuts by head coach Cesar Ferrando but the coach's game-changing decisions were made during the second half, with his team trailing 0-1. 

Nishu Kumar's stunning volley had given the hosts a narrow lead at the break and despite seeing more of the ball, the visitors needed fresh blood to get back into the game.

Jamshedpur FC were the first to make a change. Nine minutes after the restart, 20-year-old midfielder Mobashir Rahman replaced defender Raju Gaikwad. This was the same player that Ferrando turned to against Mumbai City as well and it is a testament to the coach's trust in youth.

Rahman's introduction brought some energy to the midfield. In fact, his long-range effort forced Gurpreet Singh to put in a desperate dive in order to keep Bengaluru in the lead. 

In the 71st minute, Cesar Ferrando made another alteration. He brought on young forward Gourav Mukhi and it was a perfect throw of the dice that yielded an equaliser.

Mukhi latched onto the ever-present Mario Arques' chipped through-ball into the box. The Indian forward, who had impressed the coach in the pre-season, brilliantly shielded the ball from Albert Serran and fired into the bottom corner.

Sunil Chhetri's header off Harmanjot Khabra's hopeful long ball into the box put the hosts back in the driving seat. But two minutes later, it was that man Mario Arques again, who denied Chhetri from being the match-winner.

The former Elche midfielder crossed into the box from the right to pick out Sergio Cidoncha at the centre who slotted the ball home to level the scoreline the 94th minute.

The late drama was possible only due to Ferrando's substitutions and Mario Arques' brilliance in midfield. He stepped up when it mattered and complimented Memo in midfield.

Two games into the season, it looks like Jamshedpur FC have a strong unit built around Mario Arques and Memo. If Tim Cahill can get his scoring boots on early, the Men of Steel could soon be seen challenging for the play-off spot.