Egypt’s Zamalek failed to make the most of their first-half dominance and were lucky not to concede in the second half to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to Kuwait’s Qadsia in the first leg of the Arab Club Champions Cup round of 32 on Saturday.
Zamalek looked lively in the first period but their final touches let them down. They were vulnerable after the interval, with Qadsia going close to claiming a shock win on breakaways.
Both sides will meet in the second leg in Kuwait in late September for a place in the last 16.
For all their territorial dominance and some swift passes in the final third, clear-cut chances were hard to come by for Zamalek in the first half.
Winger Mahmoud Kahraba, the star of their 5-1 thrashing of Ittihad in the Egyptian Premier League last week, was Zamalek’s liveliest performer.
He had a shot from the edge of the area pushed away by Qadsia keeper and squandered Zamalek’s best chance on the stroke of halftime when he fired high over with the goal gaping after the keeper parried a cross into his path.
Qadsia notably improved after the break, with their counter-attacking game unsettling Zamalek’s defence. Cameroonian striker Ronald Wanja hit the post with a snap low shot in the early stages of the second half and had another effort from inside the area thwarted by keeper Mahmoud Gennesh.
At the other end, Qadsia’s impressive keeper produced a brilliant one-handed save to smother a volley from Kahraba and substitute Mohamed Antar failed in his attempt to round him after breaking clear in another effort.
Qadsia almost snatched a stoppage-time win when Wanja raced clear after a neatly-worked counter attack but he fired wide with the goal at his mercy.