Johannesburg: CAF Confederation Cup newcomers Stade Gabesien of Tunisia are looking good for a play-off place after holding Zanaco of Zambia 1-1 in Lusaka Saturday.
Rodrick Kabwe put the hosts ahead midway through the opening half only for Ahmed Hosny to equalise halfway through the second period of the last 16 first leg.
It was the fourth draw in five CAF matches for unbeaten Gabesien and they will be confident of winning the April 19 or 20 return match.
Tunisia have produced five of the 12 Confederation Cup title-holders with CS Sfaxien winning the African equivalent of the Europa League three times and Etoile Sahel twice.
Fellow Tunisian contenders Esperance, winners of five CAF titles, play Azam of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam Sunday.
Algerian duo CS Constantine and Mouloudia Oran struggled to cash in on home advantage in other first legs.
Constantine, so impressive when eliminating Nasarawa United of Nigeria in the round of 32, had to wait 89 minutes before Mourad Meghni scored to deliver a 1-0 win over Misr Elmaqasah of Egypt.
Oran had to settle for a 0-0 stalemate with Kawkab Marrakech of Morocco, who had conceded five goals in two previous CAF games on the road this season.
The round of 16 began dramatically Friday when 2010 Confederation Cup winners FUS Rabat of Morocco routed Villa of Uganda 7-0 for the biggest win in the competition this year.
Brilliant first and last goals highlighted the romp. Mourad Batna scored with an unstoppable free-kick and Mohamed Fouzair dribbled past four opponents before beating the goalkeeper.