Young forward Yunus Sentamu scored the only goal on 55 minutes to seal a historic place at the semi-final stage of the premier continental club championship.
This is the first time the 1973 winners have reached the last four since the introduction of the new format in 1997. Also, it is the first time ‘Les Dauphins Noirs’ are participating at the group phase, and they capped it with a historic place at the semis.
AS Vita are on 10 points as Mazembe, but trail the latter via head-to-head. The two sides will face-off in two weeks in the ultimate match of Group A to decide the final placement. The Congolese duo is joined by ES Setif of Algeria and Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien, who have qualified from Group B.
The match is one that returnee Zamalek coach Hossam Hassam would like to forget, as it marked a losing start to his second spell in charge of the White Knights and also on his 48th birthday.
After a barren first half, a blunder by Zamalek goalie Mohamed Abo Gabal gifted Sentamu the chance to score the opener. The forward, who turns 20 on August 13, profited from the mistake by Gabal, rounded him before firing past two Zamalek defenders for what turned out to be the only goal of the match.
The hosts never gave up, launching several raids into the half of the Congolese but Ahmed Ali and Mostafa Fathi failed to convert the chances that came their way.
On 76 minutes, the best chance of the Egyptians fell to Fathi, but with only AS Vita goalie Nelson Lukong to beat, he volleyed wide. Lukong was by far the best player of the visiting teams, standing between the hosts and goal with superb saves.
For the third-year running, Zamalek, five-time winners, have failed to go beyond the group stage. The Cairo-based are tied on four points with Sudanese side, Al-Hilal.
• Al Hilal