Ahly further ensured Jose Peseiro's departure as coach would not have any impact on how they fare in the Egyptian Premier League, with forgotten striker John Antwi netting the winner in a 1-0 victory over Ittihad in Alexandria on Saturday.
The Ghanaian, who was repeatedly snubbed and criticised by Portuguese boss Peseiro, netted what proved to be the winner four minutes past the hour mark to give caretaker coach Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Shafi 'Zizo' his second win in as many games.
Peseiro, who abruptly left Ahly last week to take over at Portuguese giants Porto, said in an interview with Egyptian newspaper El-Watan that Antwi was not up to the standards of the Cairo giants, justifying his decision to leave out the summer signing.
However, the 23-year-old, who finished as the Egyptian league top scorer in 2014 during his spell with Ismaily, was keen to prove Peseiro wrong after his simple finish from close range gave Ahly a valuable win over a stubborn Ittihad side.
It was Antwi's first league goal in six appearances he made this season, having been given a new lease of life by Zizo. Ahly are yet to name a permanent replacement for Peseiro.
Ahly moved back to the top with 32 points, two ahead of arch-rivals Zamalek who will regain their position at the summit if they beat another Alexandria-based club in Smouha on Sunday.
Ahly and title holders Zamalek clash in the Cairo derby on 9 February in an anticipated top-of-the-table clash following a brief Egypt training camp, during which the national team will play a couple of friendly games.
The muddy pitch in Alexandria made things difficult for Ahly and Ittihad in a dull game with few clear-cut opportunities.
Ahly's best chance fell to playmaker Ramadan Sobhi, who broke clear after a neat one-two on 34 minutes but his low shot was blocked by the legs of keeper Mahmoud El-Sayed.
Anti had a header that went just over the crossbar on the stroke of halftime but he made amends on 64 minutes, sliding home from an Ahmed Fathi low cross following a superb long ball from in-form midfielder Abdallah El-Saied.
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