Zamalek claimed a narrow 2-1 win over Wadi Degla on Thursday in a delayed Egyptian league game at Petro Sport stadium to stay on four points adrift of leaders Ahly.
Striker Omar El-Said opened the scoring for Zamalek in the 22nd minute while defender Mahmoud Alaa converted a penalty three minutes after the break to double his team's lead.
Wadi Degla forward Mohamed Helal scored the consolation goal for his side five minutes after the hour-mark.
Despite an enthusiastic start from Zamalek players, the first threat came from Wadi Degla in the tenth minutes when Hossam Arafat eased past Zamalek defender Mohamed Abdel-Salam inside the area but his effort went wide.
Zamalek midfielder Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz intercepted an awful pass from Degla's keeper Mohamed Abdel-Monsef on the edge of the area to set up El-Said who scored from close range.
Three minutes later, Degla could have leveled the score but Senegalese striker Ibrahima Ndiaye was denied by Zamalek keeper Mahmoud Abdel-Rehim from close range.
Arafat squandered another chance as his curling ball went wide just before the break.
Coming back after the interval Degla were delt an early blow as defender Khaled Reda was adjudged to have touched the ball with his hand while defending against El-Said.
Specialist Alaa converted the penalty to grab his 14th league goal this season.
Degla maintained their possession-based football and Helal came at the end of a nice combination with Ndiaye to tnarrow the gap from close range.
Shortly after Zamalek keeper Gennesh made a superb stretch to deby a deflected ball from his teammate Mahmoud Alaa.
The Whites defended deep to protect their lead and grab a crucial victory.
Zamalek are now third in the League table with 63 points, four points behind leaders Ahly who played one match more.
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