Ahly claimed their third victory in as many Egyptian Premier League games after two goals from Karim Walid and Moemen Zakareya gave them a 2-1 win over Wadi Degla on Wednesday.
The Red Devils, who won their ninth league title in 10 seasons last term, avenged their last-gasp 1-0 defeat by Degla last May and claimed another scalp after beating Ismaily and Arab Contractors in their previous two matches.
Walid, nicknamed Nedved after the former Czech Republic anchorman, opened the scoring in the first half before a controversial penalty allowed Degla's Mostafa Galal to equalise nine minutes after the break.
Winger Zakareya headed home after a fine move shortly after to ensure Ahly would move level on top with Smouha, who also bagged maximum nine points from their opening three games.
Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry gave rare starts to Ghanaian frontman John Antwi and Walid, hoping they would boost his firepower after lone striker Amr Gamal underperformed in the opening two games of the season.
Antwi was a peripheral figure but Walid made his presence felt with some fine shots from outside the area, including the opener after 18 minutes when he pounced on a half-hearted defensive clearance to send a powerful half-volley that struck the hands of veteran keeper Essam El-Hadary and went in.
Playmaker Abdallah El-Saied and right-back Ahmed Fathi also went close earlier with a couple of decent shots.
However, Degla leveled against the run of play on 54 minutes when El-Saied was adjudged to have handled in the area, although television replays showed that the ball hit his chest.
Galal sent keeper Sherif Ekramy the wrong way but Ahly restored their lead four minutes later when Zakareya was picked out unmarked by a cross from Fathi to send a bouncing diving header into the back of the net.
Ahly's new Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi made his competitive debut after coming on as a late substitute but did not have time to make an impact.
The temp remained high but both sides struggled to carve out openings as Ahly held on to continue their perfect start to the season.
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