Zamalek snatched a hard fought 4-3 win against a resilient Asyut Petroleum side in the Egyptian League on Thursday.
The win helped Zamalek close the gap on second-placed Ismaili after bagging their 52nd point while Asyut remained second from the bottom with 19 points.
Abdul-Halim Ali opened the scoring for Zamalek with a deft header in the 17th minute after connecting with Shikabala’s brilliant cross.
Two minutes later Mohamed Ibrahim brought Asyut level when he capitalized on a mistake from the shaky Zamalek defense to go one on one with goalkeeper Mohamed Abdul-Monsef and score.
The hosts grabbed an unexpected lead when Nigerian sensation Henry Akile fired home a low drive past the hapless Abdul-Monsef.
Zamalek skipper Hazem Emam grabbed the equalizer for Zamalek six minutes later when he unleashed a scorching shot that left Asyut goalkeeper Abdou Shaaban no chance.
Substitute Magdi Attwa regained the lead for the Cairo giants when he latched on to an inch-perfect through pass from Emam in the area and slotted home comfortably.
Zamalek looked on their way to a comfortable win when Ali extended the lead on the hour.
The Egypt international scored on the rebound from close range after Shaaban blocked Wael Al-Qabani’s free kick in his path.
Asyut’s players seemed lost for a few minutes before mounting a myriad of attacks on Zamalek’s goal which resulted in Ibrahim pulling one back.
Zamalek had the woodwork and Abdul-Monsef to thank for keeping the lead as they simultaneously denied a wave of chances.
Elsewhere, Suez Cement produced a comfortable 2-0 home win over Olympic Alexandria courtesy of goals from Mohamed Salam and Ikrami Abdul-Aziz.