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Rangers and Benfica played out a pulsating 2-2 draw in Lisbon, leaving their Europa League Last 16 tie in the balance ahead of next week’s return leg at Ibrox.

Fabio Silva was in from the start at the Estadio de Luz and he immediately came back to haunt the side where he spent his formative years. The Portuguese forward played an incisive ball down the line, picking out Mohamed Diomande who stood up a cross for Tom Lawrence to power a header home after seven minutes.

In what is fast becoming a trademark of his time between the sticks for Rangers, Jack Butland pulled off a series of smart saves inside the opening quarter hour.

Benfica began to turn the screw as the first 45 minutes wore on and were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time when John Souttar was deemed to have handled in the box. Angel Di Maria looked every inch the World Cup winner when the veteran forward rolled the ball beyond Butland from 12 yards.

Philippe Clement’s side have proven already this season that they can’t be written off in Europe and minutes later, deep into first half stoppage time, they took the lead once again. Dujon Sterling, adopting his recent role on the wing, timed his run to perfection to meet Fabio Silva’s low cross and turn home his first Rangers goal, much to the disbelief of the home crowd.

Rangers defended valiantly for much of the second period but were caught with a sucker punch after 67 minutes when Connor Goldson headed into his own net from a Di Maria set piece.

The sides will meet again in Glasgow next week, where both will have a quarter final place firmly in their sights.