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, the Mexican shrugged off a rough challenge by Andre Coelho to feed Nani but the winger's powerful first-time shot was parried away by Beto.
With a quarter of an hour left, Sir Alex's side edged in front with a goal of genuine quality. Tom Cleverley channelled David Beckham on the right wing, taking a touch to bend in a cross that invited the finishing touch. Hernandez duly obliged with a stunning header that had the net bulging in front of the Stretford End again.
The No14's work was done for the night as he left the field to a huge ovation with Ryan Giggs taking his place for the final 10 minutes or so. Braga showed they were not to be written off as De Gea's short pass to Cleverley caused some panic in defence but the Spaniard clutched a header confidently from the corner.