Caf Champions League: Bencharki hands Zamalek SC first-leg advantage against Tusker
Achraf Bencharki of Zamalek SC.
The Moroccan scored the only goal of the game as the visitors dominated more in the second half than it was before the half-time break

Zamalek SC managed to defeat Tusker 1-0 in a Caf Champions League first round, first leg encounter at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.

Achraf Bencharki was the scorer for the Egyptian giants, who approached the game with a defensive approach in the first half before changing tact in the second half to secure the slim win.

Tusker could have punished Zamalek in the seventh minute when Daniel Sakari dispossessed an opponent in midfield, found Jackson Macharia with a slick pass, and the dreadlocked star laid the ball in Shami Mwinyi's path, but the new signing ended up shooting over the bar from close range.

The Brewers won a 15th-minute free-kick on the left wing and Boniface Muchiri took it, but his effort - aimed at the bottom right corner - was superbly blocked by Zamalek's goalkeeper Abo Gabal and the ball went back into play. 

Muchiri was at a good angle to plant the ball into the net after Humphrey Mieno found him at the edge of the box with a low pass, but the Kenya international shot wide after a good left-right turn before the opponents closed in on him quickly in the 15th minute.

Eugene Asike's header - from Muchiri's free-kick in the 27th minute - veered slightly away from the right post as Tusker camped in Zamalek's half after a few minutes of dominance by the Kenyan champions.

The Brewers - more dominant in midfield than the Egyptian side - had a nice build-up that started with Clyde Senaji to Ibrahim Joshua, and finally to Muchiri, who entered the penalty box before opponents launched a last-moment desperate clearance in the 37th minute.

The five-time Champions League winners were determined and pushed Tusker deep into their area as the second half began. Within a few minutes, they had created numerous chances and Saif El-Giziri's fierce shot in the 47th minute hit the post with Bwire all but beaten in goal.

After the post denied them, Zamalek took the lead in the 48th minute when Bencharki made a good run down the left flank, entered Tusker's isolated box and fired past Bwire to break the deadlock.

After Tuksre's midfield looked overpowered, coach Robert Matano made four changes as Kibwana, Mieno, Macharia and Sakari were replaced by Apollo Otieno, John Njuguna, Deogratius Ojok and Kevin Monyi in the 59th minute.

Muchiri became the third player to receive a yellow card in the game after he was judged to have dived while attempting to make way into the penalty box in the 70th minute.

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Bwire rose to the occasion and saved Tusker from conceding the second goal in the 81st minute when he blocked Youssef Obama's shot in a one-on-one situation.

Meanwhile, Zamalek's Gabal was yellow-carded for his time-wasting antics on the other end.

Zamalek will host the Kenyan side for the return leg on October 22 with a slight advantage registered from the first leg.