Spurs had to come from behind to win in Cyprus but two second-half goals have put them in a strong position ahead of the second leg at White Hart Lane.Tottenham secured a 2-1 victory over AEL Limassol in a Europa League qualifier thanks to goals from Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane.
The Spurs duo struck in the last 20 minutes as Mauricio Pochettino's side put one foot in the group stages of Europe's second-tier competition.
It was far from straightforward for Tottenham in Larnaca, though, and they did not make a bright start as Soldado missed the target from 6 yards before AEL took the lead.
Paulinho was caught in possession inside his own half, and as a result, the ball broke for Adrian Sardinero, who quickly sped through Tottenham's defense before producing a clever finish into the bottom-right corner.
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Pochettino's men failed to produce an immediate response and were nearly two goals down 11 minutes later, when Lukasz Gikiewicz nodded Sardinero's cross just over the bar.
Kane, one of few positives for Spurs in the first half, tested AEL goalkeeper Karim Fegrouche twice in quick succession after the half-hour mark, but the Cypriot side continued to look more threatening. And Sardinero went close again eight minutes before the break, darting in from the right before he forced Hugo Lloris into a fine save as Spurs ended the half on the back foot.
Both sides struggled to get going in the second half and, despite the introduction of Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele, Spurs looked bereft of creativity.
But Lamela — signed for a fee in the region of 25 million pounds from Roma last year — changed the game after coming off the bench, as, shortly after Kane was denied by the bar, the Argentinian set up Tottenham's equalizer.
His clever run through the middle drew in defenders and he followed it with a sublime pass that played in Soldado, who coolly hammered a first-time effort in.
And the second swiftly followed — just six minutes later — with Lamela playing a pivotal role again. This time Lamela came in off the left and found Kane, who beat an opponent before firing past the helpless Fegrouche and seal victory for Spurs.