Vitesse Arnhem took a giant stride towards qualification for next season's UEFA Europa League with a 3-1 win over RKC Waalwijk in the first leg of their play-off at the Mandemakers Stadium.
Wilfried Bony's second-half brace put his side in control of the tie ahead of Sunday's second leg at the Gelredome, with Krisztian Nemeth having drawn RKC level early in the second half following Tomas Kalas' opener.
Bony carved out the first chance of the match, forcing RKC goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet to tip over his third-minute shot from the edge of the area.
Zoet had to be alert to push a free-kick wide from Jan-Arie van der Heijden in the 19th minute and following the resultant corner Guram Kashia's shot struck the post as the Vitesse pressure mounted. It finally told in the 22nd minute, though, as Kalas' long-range strike gave Zoet no chance.
RKC needed a positive start to the second half and they got it when Nemeth headed home a right-wing cross from fellow substitute Furkin Alakmak ten minutes in.
Vitesse goalkeeper Piet Velthuizen then kept his side on level terms by keeping out Cuco Martina's header from a Sander Duits cross, and it proved a vital intervention as Bony restored the visitors' lead in the 69th minute.
Kalas' pass did not reach Bony, but the forward seized on an error by Martina to bear down on goal and beat Zoet in the one-on-one duel. Zoet then kept out an overhead kick by Bony, but the Ivorian made it 3-1 with nine minutes to go when he headed home a cross from the left.
Ricky ten Voorde wasted a glorious chance to pull one back, shooting straight at Velthuizen in the 86th minute.