African Champions League: Zamalek beat Zesco United as Raja hold Kabylie

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The fourth round of group matches in this season’s African Champions League kicked off on Friday with a 2-0 victory for Zamalek over Zesco United and a controversial 0-0 draw between JS Kabylie and Raja Casablanca.

Algeria’s JS Kabylie argued the ball had hit the right arm of a Raja player inside the box during stoppage time but their penalty appeals were turned down.

Kabylie had dominated possession in the Group D contest but lacked the ability to open the defence of a Raja side that came to Algeria determined not to lose.

Securing a point means three-time African champions Raja, whose group campaign began poorly with a 2-0 home loss to holders Esperance of Tunisia, are set for a top-two finish and a spot in the quarter-finals.

Esperance and Raja have seven points each, Kabylie four and AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo one. Vita Club host Esperance on Saturday.

Elsewhere, five-time champions Zamalek of Egypt defeated Zesco United of Zambia 2-0 in Cairo to move closer to the knockout stages from Group A.

Achraf Bencharki netted his fifth Champions League goal this season on four minutes by nodding a cross from fellow Moroccan Mohamed Ounajem past goalkeeper Jacob Banda.

Bencharki created the second goal after 89 minutes for rising star Mostafa Mohamed, who claimed his sixth goal of the African campaign with a tap-in.

Mohamed is second in the scorers chart behind nine-goal Karim Aribi from Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel.

TP Mazembe of DR Congo and Zamalek have seven points each and Zesco and Primeiro de Agosto of Angola both have two, ahead of a clash between the top and bottom clubs in Lubumbashi on Saturday.

Maximum points for Mazembe will guarantee them a quarter-finals place.

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