Johannesburg - Zamalek last conquered Africa in 2002 and it could be a long time before they do so again judging by a 0-0 CAF Confederation Cup draw with FUS Rabat.
The Egyptians barely existed as an attacking force and were comfortably contained by the Moroccans at the weekend in a spectator-less Cairo Stadium due to security concerns.
It was a bitterly disappointing last-16, first-leg display from the White Knights, whose nine-title CAF record is second only to that of Cairo neighbours Al Ahly.
Hopes of a strong Zamalek showing in the second-tier Confederation Cup were raised when they scored six goals when brushing Rwandans Rayon Sports aside in the previous round.
Experienced Ahmed Eid scored three of those goals but made no impression against well-drilled former Confederation Cup title-holders FUS.
Eid was benched on the hour by Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira, but replacement Bassem Morsi fared no better.
FUS came closest to breaking the stalemate when Gambian Youssoupha Njie intercepted a weak back pass only to see his lob rebound off the bar.
Zamalek had another scare as Burkinabe defender Mohamed Koffi appeared to foul a Moroccan inside the box, but escaped unpunished.
Ivorians ASEC Mimosas, the 1998 CAF Champions League winners, snatched a last-gasp 1-0 victory at Malians Onze Createurs.
Yannick Zakri created a chance for Adriel Ba Loua to score on 90 minutes at Stade Modibo Keita in Bamako.
ASEC are making a habit of snatching late away victories - they scored two minutes from time in Tunis to eliminate Libyans Al-Ittihad in a round-of-32 tie.
Return matches are scheduled for May 1-3 and the overall winners qualify for the play-offs with Champions League last-16 losers.