Defending champions Ahly looked sluggish in a dour first half but managed to get the job done after the break, with two quick-fire goals giving them a 2-0 win over promoted Haras El-Hodoud in the Egyptian Premier League in Alexandria on Friday.
Ahly scored from their first effort on goal when a goalkeeping blunder gifted them a 63rd-minute opener. A poor pass from Mosaad Awad, an ex-Ahly guardian, was intercepted by forward Mohamed Salah who made no mistake with a precise shot from the edge of the area.
Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul converted a disputed penalty shortly after to end the match as a contest as the Red Devils claimed a third consecutive league win following an opening 1-1 draw with Ismaily.
They moved top with 10 points from four games while Hodoud remained third from bottom with only one point.
Ahly's in-form winger Walid Soliman missed the game due to the death of his uncle and the team struggled for creativity without him, failing to muster a single effort in a first half to forget.
Hodoud were also unable to create any goal-scoring chances but grew bolder as the match wore on, pinning Ahly in their own half for long spells.
The hosts went close to taking the lead on 54 minutes when a cross-cum-shot from the right found Emam Ashour, whose close-range header went over the bar.
They were punished for Awad's mistake nine minutes later though, with Mohsen's effort nestling into the far corner of the empty net.
Any hopes Hodoud had of restoring party were dashed shortly after when the referee pointed to the spot after Moroccan striker Walid Azaro went down under a soft challenge, with Maaloul firing a powerful penalty home.
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