Zamalek continued their recent fine run with a 2-0 victory at Gouna on Wednesday -- their third straight win in the Egyptian Premier League -- to avenge a bitter draw last season which virtually ended their title hopes.
Veteran winger Mahmoud Shikabala netted his first league goal in over two years on only his third appearance this season to give Zamalek the lead on the quarter-hour mark.
Moroccan winger Mohamed Ounajem ensured the win ten minutes after the break, notching his second goal since joining the team last summer after he also found the net in an exciting 3-2 win over Tanta in their previous match.
Zamalek were held to a 2-2 draw on the same venue in the Egyptian Red Sea resort last season with two matches remaining in the league, which was crucial in handing the title to perennial Cairo rivals Ahly.
The White Knights are third in the table with 24 points, five behind second-placed Arab Contractors, who played a game more, and six adrift of leaders Ahly, who have two games in hand.
Zamalek's early pressure resulted in a 15th-minute opener when Shikabala cut inside from the right and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner, leaving the keeper with no chance.
The visitors looked lively but Gouna still posed threats on breakaways, going close on 18 minutes when right-back Bassem Ali cut inside central defender Mahmoud Alaa before firing a shot that forced a fine one-handed save from keeper Mohamed Abou-Gabal.
Abou-Gabal was called into action again on the stroke of halftime, thwarting a bicycle effort from Khaled Sobhi following a diagonal left-wing cross.
But Zamalek still managed to increase their advantage in the 55th minute when attacking midfielder Youssef Ibrahim fed Ounajem on the edge of the area, with the Moroccan finding the bottom corner with precise low shot.
Gouna poured forward en masse and were unlucky not to narrow the gap when a glancing header from substitute Eslam Mohareb came off the bar.
Zamalek survived a late onslaught and an injury to left-back Abdallah Gomaa, when they had already made their three substitutions, to maintain their recent mini-revival.
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