Toornstra treble helps hammer Groningen

ROTTERDAM - A Jens Toornstra hat-trick helped ADO Den Haag secure a 5-1 home win over Groningen in the Dutch Europa League play-off final first leg on Thursday that put them on the brink of qualifying for European competition.

Toornstra opened the scoring in the 21st minute following a defence-splitting pass from Aleksander Radosavljevic and doubled the lead eight minutes after the break from close range.

Jonas Ivens pulled a goal back for Groningen with a fine header just past the hour but minutes later Lex Immers scored after a scramble to restore ADO's two-goal lead.

Toornstra then got his third goal before a long drive from Ramon Leeuwin forced a blunder from Groningen goalkeeper Luciano da Silva to wrap up the victory for the hosts.

The second leg is on Sunday at Groningen where the Den Haag side can claim a European place for the first time since 1987.