Zesco United have taken top spot in Group C of the CAF Confederation Cup after defeating Smouha 1-0 at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Saturday.
The Zambians enjoyed the lion’s share of possession through the match, but found their Egyptian visitors hard to break down.
Smouha offered relatively little threat going forward, with their strikers looking to feed on scraps when the North Africans managed to break forward on the counter.
The match looked set to end in a stalemate, but just past the midway point of the second half it turned decisively in favour of the hosts.
Zesco were awarded a penalty with just under 20 minutes of regulation time remaining when Smouha’s Patrick Malo was adjudged to have handled in the 18-yard area.
Jesse Were took on the responsibility of the spot kick and fired the ball into the top corner to hand Zesco the lead in the 73rd minute of the match.
It proved to be the only goal of the game, with Smouha’s players left frustrated and angered over perceived unfairness from the match officials.
The other Group C match this weekend sees Recreativo do Libolo host Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid on Sunday afternoon.