Spurs come from behind to win in Cyprus
Tottenham Hotspur's player Harry Kane (R) fights for the ball against AEL Limassol's player Guidileye Dialo Sambra (L) during their 2014 UEFA Europa League Playoff football match at the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium on August 21, 2014 - by Sakis Savvides
The north London side are looking to reach the group stage for the fourth season running, and late goals by Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane have them in the driving seat ahead of next week's return at White Hart Lane.
However, their quest did not get off to the best of starts at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca.
Spanish striker Adrian Sardinero opened the scoring in the 14th minute for AEL, who finished second in the Cypriot top flight last season and parachuted into the Europa League after losing to Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League third qualifying round.
Slack play in midfield by Paulinho created the chance for Sardinero to run through and beat Hugo Lloris, sparking wild celebrations from the home fans.
Paulinho was one of those brought into the starting line-up by Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino as seven changes were made from Saturday's 1-0 win at West Ham United.
Questions have been asked about how seriously the new Spurs coach will take the Europa League, and his team looked second best for long spells.
However, they were rescued in the final 20 minutes by another two players promoted to the starting line-up in the heat of the Mediterranean.
Kane saw a shot turned onto the woodwork by home goalkeeper Karim Fegrouch before Soldado got the equaliser in the 74th minute.
This time Kane fed substitute Erik Lamela, whose terrific pass was emphatically hammered home by the Spanish striker.
And Spurs completed the turnaround with 10 minutes to go thanks to another piece of inspiration from Lamela and a finish from the 21-year-old Kane.