Zamalek almost paid the price of their profligacy in front of goal against a resilient Entag El-Harby side but were lifted by a brace from star winger Mahmoud Kahraba to secure a 2-1 Egyptian Premier League win at Cairo's Petrosport Stadium on Saturday.
Red-hot Kahraba, who joined the club from fellow Premier League side ENPPI in the close season after ending loan stints in Switzerland, gave Zamalek the lead two minutes from half time before adding another just eight minutes into the second half.
Entag defender Mahmoud Fathallah scored against his former side from the spot just two minutes later to narrow the gap but Zamalek held on to ease pressure on coach Jesualdo Ferreira, who remains very popular among the fans but his job is still under scrutiny after he was heavily criticised by outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour following a Super Cup loss to arch rivals Ahly.
Zamalek needed the win to make up for a disappointing goalless draw at newly-promoted side Aswan last week. They moved top with seven points but Ahly could leapfrog them if they maintained their 100 percent start at the expense of Petrojet on Sunday.
Kahraba took his tally to three goals in as many league games, having already become a fan favourite following his summer move, thanks to his pace, catchy feints and goal-scoring prowess.
Entag threaten, Zamalek score
The first major chance of the half fell to the visitors when Zamalek and Egypt keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi pulled off a brilliant save to deny Ernest Papa Arko in the 19th minute.
But it wasn't the end of El-Shennawi's saves though, with the keeper coming again to his side's rescue nine minutes later, when he confidently collected Salah Amin's header that was directed towards goal.
Even though Entag had the most dangerous chances of the half, it was Zamalek who bagged the opener when full-back Omar Gaber evaded a challenger down the right handside of the area before crossing the ball as Kahraba pounced on to smash home from point-blank range.
And it wasn't long after the break when the ex-Luzern forward completed his personal brace, when he fired home on the rebound after defender Ahmed Dwidar's free kick was palmed by the keeper into his path.
But the Zamalek fans' ecstasy with their side's second soon came to a halt, when the referee pointed to the spot after defender Islam Gamal allegedly felled an opponent although television replays suggested there was no contact.
Fathallah made no mistake from the spot, although El-Shennawi dived the right way.
Zamalek were then guility of wasting a string of clear-cut chances to put the result beyond doubt, with through-on-goal Kahraba missing the target 11 minutes from time.
Substitutes Ahmed Hassan Mekki and Mohamed Ibrahim were also guilty of some sloppy finishing in front of goal but Zamalek held on to preserve their lead and emerge winners against their resilient opponents.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)