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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