SC Braga have finally slipped up in domestic competition as their Europa League Round of 32 showdown with Rangers edges closer.

The two sides are set to meet in the first leg of their tie in nine days time and the Portuguese club had been in outstanding form.

Prior to the weekend, they had won every match under new manager, Ruben Amorim, who was appointed during the festive period.

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Amorim is the new Braga manager. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

The run consisted of seven consecutive victories, across the Primeira Liga and the Taca de Liga or Portuguese League Cup.

During that time, Braga defeated both Sporting Lisbon and Porto on two occasions, with the second victory over Porto securing the League Cup trophy. 

Under Amorim, they have risen from mid-table to fourth in the league.

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There was a first slip up at the weekend, though, when they threw away a two-goal lead at home to 12th-placed Gil Vicente.

An early goal from Ricardo Horta and a stunning effort from the skipper, Ricardo Esgaio, had the hosts cruising by the 21st minute.

Esgaio scored an impressive goal for Braga, but Rangers won’t be fearing their opponents on this showing. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

However, when Bruno Viana was sent off for a cynical last-man foul just before half-time, the balance of the game shifted.

In the second half, an error from Braga no.1 Matheus allowed Carvalho to get Gil Vicente back into the contest, before the same player capitalised on shoddy marking to stroke home the 85th-minute equaliser.

By the final whistle, Amorim’s side could count themselves lucky to emerge with a point, with a goalline clearance in injury time all that saved them from defeat.

The Gers will be keeping a close eye on their European opponents’ performances and they’ll certainly be encouraged by what was on show on Saturday evening.

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