A long-range looping strike from midfielder Abdallah El-Saied was enough to give newly appointed manager Jose Peseiro a winning start against Talae El-Geish in the Egyptian league opening week on Thursday.
After wasting a series of clear-cut chances, El-Saied finally managed to score the vital winner with just 15 minutes remaining to help his side kick start their new league campaign.
Ahly, who opened their new season with a 3-2 Super Cup win over arch-foes Zamalek, meet newly-promoted side Ghazl El-Mahalla – who were handed a 1-0 defeat by Smouha – next week.
Ahly dominate, score late
The first half was largely dominated by Ahly, with Talae El-Geish happy to invite pressure in an attempt to play on the counter attack.
Despite dictating play, the first major chance came from hosts Geish, when a Reda El-Azab long-range free kick went wide of the post in the 14th minute.
The 39th minute, however, saw the Reds squander three golden opportunities in quick succession, when keeper Mohamed Bassam thwarted a through-on-goal Walid Soliman before a staggering miss saw holder Hossam Ashour miss the target with the goal gaping.
But it wasn't the end of Bassam's heroics, as he was quick to deny another header from Soliman, leaving Ahly to lament wasting a certain chance to take the lead.
But Peseiro's men weren't only to be thwarted by the over-achieving keeper, with the woodwork denying Ahmed Hegazy's header one minute from time.
Just one minute into the second half, Bassam was called into action once again, this time blocking lone striker John Antwi after he controlled the ball inside the box before seeing his strike parried by the Geish shot-stopper.
Ramadan Sobhi then wasted another opportunity just one minute from the hour mark, when he controlled the ball inside the box before unleashing his shot wide.
But it was the 75th minute that saw Abdallah El-Saied bag the vital winner, when he caught out the advancing keeper with a long-range looping shot into an empty net.
It wasn’t the end of Ahly’s chances though, with substitute Moemen Zakareya forced to see a rocketing strike from outside the area bounce off the post, as his opened their campaign with a narrow 1-0 win.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)