A hat-trick from red-hot striker Bassem Morsi inspired Zamalek to a thumping 4-0 victory over already-relegated Nasr on Wednesday to come within one point of their first Egyptian Premier League title in 11 years.
Morsi bagged a first-half double on 13 and 21 minutes before completing his personal treble three minutes past the hour mark for his 17th league goal of the season.
Lively playmaker Mostafa Fathi, who grabbed Zamalek’s precious winner at Orlando Pirates in the Confederation Cup on Saturday, then made it four following a magnificent team move involving another in-form midfielder in Nigerian Maarouf Yussuf.
Zamalek, who lock horns with arch-rivals Ahly in the Cairo derby next week, remain top of the table with 83 points, with only one point separating them from their first league title since 2004 with three matches to go.
They will be looking to claim their first win over Ahly since 2007 and claim their 12th league title when they meet on Tuesday.
Zamalek ease past Nasr, Hefni injury scare
In an easy match for the league leaders, it did not take them too long to break the deadlock, with Morsi slotting home on the rebound following some mesmerizing skills from Ayman Hefni inside the box before the latter’s shot was blocked by the keeper.
Morsi then came back to score his side’s second after slamming the ball into the net from inside the area after receiving a low cross from make-shift right back Hamada Tolba.
But the Egypt hitman’s most brilliant strike came in the 63rd minute, which saw him cut inside his marker before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net, leaving the keeper with no chance.
Morsi now needs to net four more goals in the remaining three matches to overtake Dakhleya's Hossam Paolo, who scored 20 goals, and become the league’s top-scorer
Zamalek’s fans, however, had to survive a scare midway through the second half – having seen star Hefni forced off the pitch with what appeared to be a knee injury ahead of the derby against Ahly .
More stunning goals were to come, and Fathi’s goal came after a brilliant teammove which saw Yussuf delightfully take on a couple of challengers before playing an accurately-weighted long pass to Fathi - who drifted inside before sliding home past the keeper.
Even so, minnows Nasr were still unlucky, having seen two strikes denied by the woodwork with the result already 4-0 for Jesualdo Ferreira’s men.
And no sooner had the referee blown the final whistle, than the Zamalek bench broke into raptures – celebrating a precious league title that they need only one point to win.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)