Villa-bound Holman’s stocks rise with top showing in AZ’s Europa win

Brett Holman has taken the first step to vindicating his impending move to Aston Villa by scoring for AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night.

The Socceroos star netted the opening goal as the Dutch club beat tournament favourites Valencia 2-1 in the first leg at Alkmaar’s AFAS Stadion.

Villa-bound Holman peeled off to the back post to send a brilliant side-footed volley into the far corner from an inswinging Maarten Martens corner in stoppage time of the first half.

Valencia managed to level six minutes into the second half through a Mehmet Topal header but AZ grabbed the win in the 79th minute when Holman turned provider with a strong run down the left before cutting back for Martens to hammer home from near the penalty spot.

It was a surprise result for AZ who will again need to be at the top of their game if they want to book a semi-finals berth when they head to Estadio Mestalla on April 5.

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