Kagawa in possession. The Japan international lofted across for Hernandez to stretch and head goalwards with Beto only able to help the ball over the line.
Carrying more threat, van Persie chested Rooney's chip and swivelled to power a drive wide and Hernandez was unable to convert a cross by the Dutch striker following another smooth link-up with Rooney, Beto this time scrambling the shot to safety.
Alan thumped a volley wide as he hunted a hat-trick but the hosts started showing greater purpose and a goal by Hernandez was wrongly ruled out with Kagawa unfairly flagged offside. Büttner was upset not to earn a penalty after clashing with Leandro Salino but Braga weathered the storm and finished the half in relative comfort with Viana hammering a speculative attempt over the bar.
Nani's introduction at the expense of Kagawa provided more sparkle down the right with Rooney switching to the opposite flank to facilitate a switch to 4-4-2. Beto was still largely untroubled, however, although he managed to beat away a van Persie free-kick from a difficult angle after Rafael's adventurous run drew a foul.
Nani got his header all wrong from a Rooney corner but another flag-kick produced the equaliser on 62 minutes. Van Persie's low set-piece was flicked on by Carrick for his defensive partner Evans, who missed with his first swing of the ball but was alert enough to roll in when the rebound fell kindly for him. It was just reward for the Northern Irishman, who looked the best player on the pitch in the second half.
The stage was set for United to press with Braga content to only attack sporadically on the break after surrendering their two-goal advantage. When Evans intercepted a rare Portuguese foray to release Hernandez,