Braga suffer late shock in 2-1 defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League

Braga’s perfect start in the Europa League came to an end at the Quarry after conceding two late goals in a 2-1 defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise.

Abel Ruiz put the hosts ahead in the 49th minute and spurned a great chance to extend the lead 11 minutes later.

The Portuguese club seemed destined for victory and a three point lead in Group D, but Gustaf Nilsson had other ideas.

The Swedish striker scored three minutes after being introduced before netting the winner deep into added time.

Union Saint-Gilloise twice denied

Braga dodged a bullet in the 10th minute when Dante Vanzeir converted Teddy Teuma’s cross, the striker ruled to have handled in the buildup.

Union Saint-Gilloise’s celebrations were cut short again in the 24th minute, Bart Nieuwkoop marginally offside before combining with Vanzier and finding the net.

Chances at both ends

Both teams continued to press high with a goalkeeper eventually tested in the 37th minute. Uroš Račić picked up a loose ball and broke clear, his low shot tipped wide by Anthony Moris.

The visitors finished the first half strong with Lazare Amani’s low shot saved and Vanzier’s effort blocked. Victor Boniface was denied a spectacular goal in added time when his volley hit the bar.

Braga strike first

Braga started the second half on the front foot and took four minutes to make it count. Fabiano's great pass released Vitinha who got past Siebe Van Der Heyden, his cross picking out Abel Ruiz who got in front of Ismaël Kandouss and finished.

Moris was busy again minutes later when Vitinha saw his shot saved from close range, but any ideas Braga had of cruising clear were soon extinguished.

Nieuwkoop’s shot from point blank range was cleared off the line, the right-back provided with another chance from a tight angle that was saved by Matheus.

Moris save inspires the visitors

Ruiz had a great chance to extend Braga’s lead in the 60th minute, beating Christian Burgess but unable to beat Moris who made an important save.

The impressive Amani powered a rebound over the bar as the Belgian club continued to commit players forward. Amani’s dangerous cross then evaded everyone in the six-yard box including Boniface who could have had a tap in.

Karel Geraerts made an attacking substitution in the 83rd minute when Kandouss made way for Gustaf Nilsson. The Swedish striker was about to make a big impact.

Gustaf who?

Three minutes after being introduced, Simon Adingra lifted the ball over Vitor Tormena, Nilsson running onto it and producing a poised finish into the bottom corner.

Deep into added time the striker, signed from German 3. Liga club Wehen Wiesbaden, went one better. Boniface’s header was cleared to Adingra, his shot falling to Nilsson who took a great touch before his deflected shot beat Matheus.

By Matthew Marshall