Côte d'Ivoire-born Roger Assale scored the matchday 4 winner eight minutes after half-time before a capacity 20,000 crowd at Stade Mazembe in southern Congolese mining city Lubumbashi. Victory lifted the Ravens to eight points, three more than Al Hilal of Sudan and Moghreb Tetouan of Morocco. Tetouan shocked two-time runners-up Hilal 1-0 in Omdurman on Friday through an Ahmed Jahouh penalty.
Group debutants Smouha have only three points after three consecutive defeats and are on the verge of elimination from the race for two semi-finals places. Hilal host Mazembe and Smouha visit Tetouan in mid-August for matchday five.
Zambia midfielder Nathan Sinkala came off the bench during the second half for his first Mazembe appearance since being injured at the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea last January.