Zamalek returned to winning ways in the Egyptian Premier League and moved up to the third in the table after securing an easy 2-0 victory over Haras El-Hodoud in Cairo on Wednesday.
The hosts, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Wadi Degla in their previous match, went ahead via a dubious penalty in the 10th minute when central defender Mahmoud Alaa sent the keeper the wrong way after Moroccan forward Achraf Bencharki, making his return from injury, appeared to have been brought down as he anticipated a cross.
However, television replays suggested that the contact was minimal.
El-Hodoud could have equalized on 25 minutes when Abdel-Latif Grendo broke clear after a threaded pass but his shot was denied by the post.
Immediately following the miss, Zamalek launched a counter attack which resulted in a second goal.
Winger Ahmed Sayed, better known as Zizo, started the move and applied a simple finish to double Zamalek's advantage.
He fed Bencharki on the right and then met the Moroccan's return cross with a close-range header into an empty net.
With El-Hodoud playing with a high backline in the second half, Zamalek wasted several clear-cut chances to kill off the game.
Moroccan winger Mohamed Ounajem raced clear but his tame effort was collected by the keeper while forward Youssef Ibrahim blasted high over with the goal at his mercy shortly after.
Zamalek, who have slim hopes to challenge for the title, lie third in the table with 28 points, eight behind leaders and defending champions Ahly, who still have two games in hand over their Cairo rivals. El-Hodoud are 10th on 18 points.
The White Knights next face Ismaily on Sunday before meeting Tunisia's Esperance in an anticipated African Super Cup on 14 February.
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