Joe Aribo was on target as Rangers mounted an astonishing comeback from 2-0 down to record a dramatic win over Portuguese side Braga in the Europa League at Ibrox on Thursday.
The dominant Portuguese side seemed home and dry after goals from Fransergio and Abel Ruiz appeared to have given them the win in the last-32 first-leg tie.
But Rangers hit back with an Ianis Hagi double either side of Joe Aribo’s superb solo goal in a 15-minute flurry.
Braga had bossed proceedings and duly took an 11th-minute lead when Brazilian midfielder Fransergio thudded a swerving 25-yard drive in off the crossbar.
Rangers were subpar for most of the first half and were lucky not to enter the interval with a greater deficit as Paulinho and Trincao both went close for Braga.
If Steven Gerrard had hoped to stir his players to life during the interval, it appeared not to have worked as the visitors resumed the second half in the ascendancy.
Joao Palhinha and Fransergio both spurned chances to increase Braga’s lead within moments of each other and after Alfredo Morelos squandered a great chance to draw the home side level, the home fans made their feelings clear as boos rang out through Ibrox.
Super Eagles midfielder Aribo was introduced in the 54th-minute but his entrance failed to stem the tide as Braga doubled their lead just five minutes later through Barcelona loanee Ruiz who was making his debut for the Portuguese side.
Rangers were indebted to their goalkeeper for not falling further behind and Allan McGregor’s saves proved to be extremely crucial as the Gers found an extra gear record an improbable comeback.
Ianis Hagi reduced the deficit in the 67th minute before Joe Aribo brought the entire stadium to their feet with a wonderful display of dribbling to restore parity in the 75th-minute.
The Super Eagles midfielder received the ball a few metres outside the box before beautifully skipping past four challenges to calmly slot past Matheus Matheus for his eighth goal in all competitions.
Hagi then completed the unlikely comeback eight minutes from time when his free-kick from 25 yards took a deflection off the wall and dropped just inside the post.
Despite the win, Rangers have their work cut out when they travel to the Braga Municipal Stadium for the second-leg in a week.