An outstanding brace from midfielder Mohamed Ibrahim gave Zamalek their fourth straight Egyptian League win, beating Petrojet 2-0 and trailing behind leaders and arch-rivals Ahly.
Ibrahim, who looks to have won the confidence of recently-appointed manager Mohamed Helmi, scored on either side of the interval in one-on-one situations for his first Zamalek goals since his return from an unsuccessful tenure at Portugal's Maritimo.
This is the third win in a row for Helmi, who replaced Scottish manager Alex McLeish at the helm earlier this month, with Zamalek currently in second place with 54 points.
The victory took Zamalek within five points of leaders Ahly, who could well restore their eight-point gap should they triumph over Aswan later in the day.
Meanwhile, Petrojet are in fifth place with 38 points.
Dummy by Ibrahim
Zamalek were in control in the opening minutes, with Petrojet determined to defend deep inside their own half as they gave their opponents' backline all the time on the ball.
It was Petrojet who looked threatening, however, with Ghanaian winger Shaibu Yakubu giving Zamalek left-back Ahmed Adel Gomaa a hard time down the right.
With Gomaa struggling defensively, Helmi's tactic looked to be vacating space for the full-back to push forward by deploying Maarouf Yusuf in an inside-left position.
The tactic paid dividends after 13 minutes, with Gomaa latching onto a neat through ball from Ibrahim before crossing to Mayuka, who headed high.
Mayuka and Ibrahim were again involved 10 minutes later, when a sublime dummy from Ibrahim allowed Mayuka to break the offside trap from a clever forward pass by Mohamed Koffi.
The Petrojet centre-backs, however, managed to recover their positions quickly before the Zambian forward put Ibrahim through on goal to brilliantly round the keeper and notch home.
With the visitors unable to pose a real danger upfront, right-back Ayman Said came close at the stroke of half-time with a curling free-kick towards the far post, but his effort missed the target.
Ibrahim puts the game to bed
Just few minutes after the break, Petrojet midfielder Ahmed El-Shennawi came close when his close-range strike missed the target following a cross by James Teddy from the left.
Former Zamalek striker Ahmed Gaafar could have punished his old club once again after scoring against them in the reverse fixture with a free kick that went narrowly wide.
With midfielder Ibrahim Abdel-Khalek looking out-of-sorts, Helmi moved to substitute the ex-Smouha man, introducing skipper Hazem Emam as Ahmed Tawfik moved into his original holding position.
Reserve Zamalek keeper Mahmoud 'Gennesh' then came to his side's rescue six minutes after the hour mark when he blocked Ahmed Magdi's point-blank header in what was the petroleum side's most dangerous chance.
Zamalek looked unable to hold onto the ball, losing it frequently to allow Petrojet to pile up the pressure in the second period.
However, it was just five minutes from the end when the Whites fans breathed a sigh of relief, with substitute Ahmed Hamoudi playing Ibrahim through-on-goal to slot past the keeper for his side's second of the evening.
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