Zamalek opened their Champions League campaign with a vital 1-0 win at Cameroon's Union Douala in the round of 32 first-leg, thanks to a brilliant strike from center-back Mohammed Koffi.
Burkina Faso defender Koffi gave Zamalek the crucial away goal in the 59th minute to make his side's mission in the return leg much easier when they host Douala next Saturday.
Should Zamalek march through, they will be facing either Tunisia's Club Africain or Algeria's MO Bejaia – who are currently trailing 1-0 following the first leg in Rades.
Zamalek on the backfoot
The hosts were on the front foot for the majority of the first half, with Zamalek unable to win most of the individual battles across the pitch.
Zamalek did not look quite compact, with acres of space separating their lines. Lone striker Emmanuel Mayuka often looked isolated upfront.
And with Douala piling up pressure, the first major threat came in the 19th minute, with Egypt keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi forced into a great save to deny a volley from outside the area.
The Zamalek keeper was called into action once again seven minutes later, as the Cairo giants failed to threaten their opponents throughout the opening half.
Koffi's excellent strike
Zamalek looked to have redeemed themselves much after the break, with Mayuka almost coming close after the Douala keeper punched the ball into the Zambian frontman.
Mostafa Fathi then came to torment the Cameroonians with his trademark left-footed strikes, and the beginning was an attempt in the 57th minute which struck the side-netting.
The chance seemed to signal Zamalek's opener, and indeed it was just two minutes later when Koffi put his side in front with a delightful right-footed strike from outside the area after pressing his opponent and dispossessing him.
Fathi then came to pose danger once again from the right, this time seeing his strike palmed away by the keeper in the 63rd minute.
With Douala pushing forward in search for an equalizer, spaces were left at the back for Ayman Hefni and Fathi to exploit, but the talented duo failed to eventually add another goal as Zamalek came up with a one-goal advantage ahead of the second leg.
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