Midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou scored twice as Ismaily beat Smouha 4-2 in Alexandria to move to within touching distance of Egyptian Premier League leaders Zamalek.
Egyptian international Abd-Rabou, who returned to Ismaily’s starting line-up recently following a lengthy injury lay-off, inspired the Dervishes to a valuable win which boosted their hopes of ending a league drought stretching back to 2002.
The coastal club leapfrogged defending champions Ahly into second place in the league table with 38 points, just two behind Zamalek who slumped to a surprise 2-1 defeat against Gouna earlier in the day.
Full-back Ahmed Sedik gave Ismaily the lead eight minutes before the break with a close-range effort after playing a one-two with striker Mohsen Abou-Greisha down the right flank.
Abd-Rabou, who rejected the overtures of Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek on several occasions to remain at his boyhood club, doubled the advantage in the 58thminute when his curling free-kick went in off the post.
He added the third four minutes later when he converted a penalty, after Smouha’s 35-year-old defender Beshir El-Tabie brought him down in the area.
Ismaily’s attacking prowess was too much to handle for Smouha, who conceded a fourth goal at the seven minutes past the hour mark.
Playmaker Abdullah Saied rounded off a neatly-worked counter attack with a precise low shot from inside the area which left the keeper with no chance.
Smouha threatened to stage a remarkable comeback after Nigerian striker Godwin Attram scored two late goals but Ismaily held on to bag all three points.