AZ Alkmaar have one foot firmly in the Conference League after a convincing 4-0 win in the first leg against Portuguese side Gil Vicente.
Dany de Wit put the Alkmaarders in front when he headed home Milos Kerkez’s cross after 24 minutes, before three goals in the last 12 minutes by Mayckel Lahdo, Vangelis Pavlidis and Mees de Wit gave them a decisive advantage.
The other Dutch team in the play-offs, Twente Enschede, faced a tougher test in Italy, but still have hopes of progressing after losing 2-1 to Fiorentina.
The Italians took the lead after just two minutes with a header by Nicolás González and went further ahead when Brazilian striker Arthur Cabral slid in after half an hour.
Twente came out stronger after the break as trainer Ron Jans made two changes, one of whom, Vaclav Cerny, pulled a goal back when he was put through by Gijs Smal.
The second legs will be played next Thursday, August 25.
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