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Rangers draw 2-2 with Benfica in Europa League clash

The Portuguese side fought back from 2-0 down to claim a point at Ibrox.

Rangers draw 2-2 with Benfica in Europa League clash SNS Group

Rangers have drawn 2-2 with Portuguese side Benfica in their Europa League group stage clash.

Steven Gerrard’s side were 2-0 ahead after goals from Scott Arfield and Kemar Roofe but a late fight back from Benfica saw James Tavernier score and own goal and then Pizzi score to claim a point.

Rangers went into the game knowing that victory, along with a Standard Liege win over Lech Poznan in the other group match, would see the Ibrox side qualify for the knockout stage with two games to spare.

They had the perfect start. Kemar Roofe forced a save with a powerful header, James Tavernier leapt up to head the rebound off the bar and Scott Arfield made no mistake with the third opportunity, smashing the rebound into the net with just six minutes gone.

Everton shot over from inside the box as Benfica looked to get level but Rangers kept their composure and thwarted several dangerous attacks from the visitors to hold their lead through to half time.

After the break, they showed their own attacking intent and had a strong claim for a penalty just after the hour mark. Roofe’s shot was blocked by Jan Vertonghen’s hand but the referee was unmoved.

Minutes later the Rangers striker doubled his side’s lead. Roofe found himself with a sight of goal from couple of yards outside the box and he smashed in a powerful shot that found the top corner.

The home side had a lead but no comfort as Benfica continued to press and they pulled a goal back with 13 minutes left. Rangers failed to clear their lines and Ramos’ shot ended up going in off Rangers captain James Tavernier.

The visitors then got their equaliser after 80 minutes. Rangers defence again failed to clear quickly and Pizzi was well place to lash a shot past Allan McGregor.