AEL opened the scoring through Adrian Sardinero on 14 minutes and held onto that lead until the 74th minute when Erik Lamela chipped a pass to Roberto Soldado, who volleyed home the equaliser.
Erik, who came off the bench to some effect with Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele, then provided the assist for Harry Kane’s winner 10 minutes from time.
It might have been more but for AEL goalkeeper Karim Fegrouch, who had a duel with Harry for most of the game, denying the striker on three occasions before the winner.
“It was a tough game, the conditions were difficult and it was an important win,” said Mauricio after his first European game as Head Coach.
“We know that Zenit came here and lost 1-0 in the Champions League. It was a difficult game and I’m happy with the players. In the end it was an important win and to get another victory.
“All the players played well, it’s difficult for me to say one name. Lamela, Chadli and Mousa all made an impact and that’s important. I’m very pleased for Harry and Roberto, strikers always want to score and they both scored. It was good to win the game.”
The return leg is at White Hart Lane next Thursday, August 28, kick-off 7.45pm.