It was the first time the five-time winners of the competition had tasted defeat or even conceded in this term’s campaign in the Orange CAF Champions League.
AS Vita, who have recovered from a painful loss to bitterest rivals TP Mazembe last week in the final game of the DR Congo premier league, gave their fans a huge cause to smile with a victorious performance against the Cairo-based visitors.
Dangerman Firmin Mubele Ndombe, who scored a hat-trick against South African champions Kaizer Chiefs at the previous round, shot the ‘Dolphins’ into the lead after 19 minutes, skipping past Zamalek defender Mohamed Abdel-Shafy to fire home.
The Egyptains raised their game but had to wait till the 76th minute for the equalizer against the 1973 champions. Forward Momen Zakarya drew level with a diving header from Abdel-Shafy’s cross to silence the around 5,000 crowd at the Tata Raphael Stadium in the Congolese capital.
However, the last laugh belonged to AS Vita as Emmanuel Ngudikama capitalized on a blunder by veteran defender Mahmoud Fathallah to score the match winner ten minutes from time.
AS Vita sit atop the group with three points, same as Al Hilal of Sudan, who defeated TP Mazembe by a lone goal on Friday in Khartoum.
Florent Ibenge (Head Coach, AS Vita)
"My players played well especially in responding quickly after the equalizer. Zamalek is an experienced and resourceful team. Now we are looking forward to the derby against TP Mazembe in day two. It is imperative that we manage at least a point in that game.”
Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’ (Head Coach, Zamalek)
"We are upset by this defeat which obliges us to win our match against Al Hilal. They (AS Vita) deserved the victory. We have to focus on the next games.”