Borna Barisic's spot-kick double ensured Steven Gerrard's team survived a roller-coaster Europa League clash to edge out Royal Antwerp in Belgium.
In a clash that had everything, Scotland's champions-elect held their nerve to salvage their unbeaten run in continental action this term and claim a vital first-leg lead.
Things looked to be going to plan for the Light Blues at the Bosuilstadion as Joe Aribo fired them ahead - only for Antwerp to hit back in a controversial end to the first half with goals from Felipe Avenatti and Lior Refaelov.
Barisic - making his 100th appearance for the Ibrox outfit - levelled it up with his first penalty only for Gers to concede again as some more poor defending allowed Martin Hongla to score.
But Rangers made it 10 games without defeat in Europe this term as Ryan Kent's equaliser and another Barisic spot-kick sealed a frenetic finale.
Frank Vercauteren's side were missing six key men but Rangers now have their own injury fears ahead of next Thursday's Glasgow return after seeing both James Tavernier and Kemar Roofe suffer first-half injuries.