Zamalek stuns Raja Casablanca in Champions League semi-final first leg

TOPSHOT - This picture shows the trophy prior to the draw of the Confederation of African Football's (CAF) Champions league at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo on December 28, 2018. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture showing the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Champions League trophy. (Photo credit MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

The prospect of an all-Egyptian CAF Champions League final between two of the continent’s biggest rivals is very much on the table after Zamalek secured a vital away win against Raja Casablanca in the first leg of the second semi-final.

Moroccan born Achraf Bencharki scored the only goal of the game as the Egyptians edged the Moroccans 1-0 at the Complexe Mohamed V in Casablanca on Sunday.

The victory was a surprise as Raja, recently crowned Botola Pro champions, came in with a formidable home record of just one defeat in 22 home games in the competition while Zamalek had only won once in 13 travels.

Bencharki, who once played for Raja’s rivals Wydad Athletic Club, broke the deadlock after 18 minutes heading in Ahmed Mostafa’s right-wing cross.

Despite the hosts’ best efforts, they were unable to breach Zamalek’s defence as the visitors held on to record a second win against their opponents in three Champions League matches.

The second leg will take place next Saturday at the Cairo International Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo. The winner will face either record eight-time winners Al Ahly or two-time champions Wydad in the final.