Ashraf Bencharki scored for Zamalek in the 18th minute to give the Egyptians a precious away win against Raja Casablanca ahead of next week's second leg.

Zamalek of Egypt secured an away victory in the first leg of their African Champions League semi-final, beating Raja Casablanca 1-0 in Morocco on Sunday night.

A first-half header from Moroccan Achraf Bencharki, a former player of Raja’s city rivals Wydad, was enough to give Zamalek the victory ahead of next weekend’s second leg in Egypt.

His goal in the 18th minute came off a cross from Ahmed Sayed that dipped beyond Raja goalkeeper Anas Zniti.

The overall winners will meet either Wydad Casablanca or Egyptian giants Al Ahly in next month’s final.

Ahly have a 2-0 advantage over Wydad following their first leg victory in Casablanca on Saturday, so there is a strong chance of an all-Egypt final.

If the two finalists are from the same country, the final will be hosted there. If it is Morocco v Egypt in the showpiece, then the final will take place in Egypt.

The semi-finals mark a return to continental club football competition in Africa for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown.