CAIRO: Henri Michel s debut with Zamalek was foiled by Ghazl Mahalla after a goalless draw in the Egyptian League on Wednesday.
Zamalek s hopes of competing for the league title faded as the result put them in third place of the table with 30 points, a massive 11 points behind leaders Ahly who still have one game in hand.
Mahalla enjoy a fine campaign as they lie fourth with 27 points.
Michel introduced midfield duo Hazem Emam and Tamer Abdul-Hamid, who both returned to the starting line-up after a lengthy spell out of action due to disputes with former boss Manuel Cajuda.
In the first-half, Zamalek dominated in terms of possession but failed to pose any threat while Mahalla were dangerous on the break.
Mahalla striker Amr Sobhi almost put his side ahead in the first-half stoppage time when his close-range header went just wide of the post.
The hosts had the upper hand in the second period, launching several scoring opportunities while Zamalek continued their sluggish display.
In the 54th minute, left-back Mohamed Abdul-Shafi hit a low shot that missed the target.
Zamalek keeper Abdul-Wahed Al-Sayed tipped Mahmoud Fathallah s free-kick over the bar five minutes from time.
Sobhi should have sealed a precious victory for Mahalla two minutes later when he capitalized on a miss-pass by Ghanaian playmaker Awuley Quaye Junior and went face-to-face with Al-Sayed but failed in his attempt to round him.