Zamalek edged out Etoile du Sahel 1-0 in the CAF Confederation Cup semi-final first-leg match at the Borg Al Arab Stadium in Egypt on Sunday night.
Tunisian side Etoile will now host Egyptian giants Zamalek in the second-leg match in Sousse on Sunday, May 5.
The White Knights dominated possession in the opening stages of the match and they nearly scored through Mahmoud Kahraba.
The 25-year-old attacker’s left-footed volley went just over the crossbar in the 19th minute as the hosts searched for the opening goal.
Zamalek looked dangerous every time they pushed forward with Mahmoud Abdel Aziz working hard in midfield.
The Egypt international placed his effort over the crossbar following a scramble in the Etoile box just after the half-hour mark.
The hosts deservedly took the lead in the 37th minute and it was Kahraba, who hit the back of the net.
The former Grasshopper and Luzern player controlled the ball well before firing past Etoile goalkeeper Makram Bediri to make it 1-0 to Zamalek.
Zamalek were leading 1-0 at the interval following a first-half which was dominated by the hosts.
The Jewel Coast pushed for the equalizing goal after the restart and they had a chance to score through Iheb Msakni.
However, the former Esperance de Tunis midfielder failed to hit the back of the net from close range eight minutes after the restart.
Roger Lemerre, the Etoile coach, introduced Venezuelan attacker Darwin Gonzalez in the 67th minute as the visitors looked to grab a crucial away goal.
However, the Zamalek defence which was led by Mahmoud Alaa contained Etoile in the dying minutes of the encounter.
Ultimately, the first-leg match ended in a 1-0 victory in favour of Zamalek on the night.
Zamalek (1) 1 (Kahraba 37′)
Etoile (0) 0
Zamalek: Gennesh, Alaa, Nagguez, El Wensh, Hamed, Kahraba (Ibrahim 77′), Aziz, Hassan (Zizo 63′), Gomaa, Obama (Ahadad 85′), El Said.
Etoile: Bediri, Konate, Boughattas, Ben Aziza, Chikhaoui, Aouadhi, Msakni, Ben Amor (Baayou 84′), Kechrida, Hannachi, Haj Hassen (Gonzalez 67′).