Walid Soliman came off the bench in the second half to inspire Ahly to a 2-1 comeback victory over Gouna on Wednesday as the Red Devils continue their recent revival in the Egyptian Premier League following a poor run of form.
Forward Mohamed Nagi put Gouna ahead early on and things looked difficult for an Ahly side that once again lacked spark and imagination.
However, the veteran Soliman, who surprisingly started on the bench, was thrown into the fray after the break to inject zeal into a sluggish side.
His long ball led to an equaliser through winger Ahmed El-Sheikh and his inswinging corner with 11 minutes remaining resulted in a bizarre own goal which gave Ahly their second consecutive win that followed two straight defeats.
Ahly moved up to tenth with 17 points from nine games. Should they win their rescheduled matches, they will only be three points off leaders and arch rivals Zamalek.
Gouna are 15th with 16 points from as many matches.
The lowly Gouna took Ahly by surprise to go ahead after 13 minutes, Nadi breaking clear after capitalizing on a slip by central defender Saad Samir to send a low shot past keeper Sherif Ekramy and into the far bottom corner.
The visitors' slick game continued to cause problems and a flowing move ended with Mosafa Gaber going close with a deflected low shot that went just wide after wrong-footing Ekramy.
Ahly relatively improved afterwards but for all their territorial dominance, goal-scoring chances remained scarce.
Their first real opportunity came on the stroke of halftime when Gouna keeper Omar Radwan produced a superb double save to thwart a header from Moroccan striker Walid Azaro and a follow-up effort from playmaker Nasser Maher.
Soliman made all the difference in the second half, dictating play with his neat moves and passes.
He had a hand in the equaliser on 68 minutes when his floated long ball was flicked by fellow substitute Marwan Mohsen into the path of El-Sheikh, whose initial effort was blocked by a defender but he made no mistake with a follow-up volley.
In the 79th minute, his curling corner struck the crossbar and rebounded off Gouna's defender Ahmed Ali and into the net.