Zamalek played it safe on the road to hold Morocco’s Ittihad Tanger to a goalless draw in the first leg of the African Confederation Cup round of 32 on Sunday.
In a cautious affair, Zamalek were just content to soak up pressure as Tanger failed to create clear-cut chances throughout the game.
The Cairo giants will be favourites to advance to the group stage when they host Tanger in the second leg on Saturday.
Zamalek restricted the hosts to some tame efforts in the first half and had a goal correctly disallowed for offside after six minutes.
Tanger’s only real chance fell to Mehdi Naghmi after 20 minutes when he dispossessed Zamalek’s Mohamed Abdel-Ghani and raced goalwards, only to see his shot blocked by keeper Mahmoud Gennesh.
Just one minute later, Zamalek could have stunned the home crowd after a flowing move.
Mahmoud Kahraba skipped past two challengers on the left and whipped in a cross for Ibrahim Hassan, who flicked the ball to playmaker Mohamed Ibrahim to fire just wide of the post.
Chances were also at a premium in a dour second half but Kahraba spurned a golden chance on the hour mark when he was found unmarked by a long ball, only to send a weak effort wide.