Zamalek striker Bassem Morsi (Photo: Ahram)
Zamalek labored to a 1-0 Egyptian league victory over El-Entag El-Harby, thanks to a late strike from Bassem Morsi at Cairo's Al-Salam Stadium on Wednesday.
The Whites struggled against the modest Entag but eventually found a breakthrough, with Morsi firing home from close range 11 minutes from time after skipper Shikabala had missed a penalty in the first half.
Mohamed Helmi's men needed to win the rescheduled game in their bid to pile up pressure on leaders and defending champions Ahly as the Egypt Cup champions meet lowly Sharqeya on Saturday.
Zamalek are fourth of the league standings on 28 points, 14 points adrift of Ahly who played four games more. Both sides meet in an anticipated Cairo derby on 29 December, which will be followed by a long league break due to Egypt's participation in the African Cup of Nations.
Bassem's late winner
An insipid low-paced match saw Bassem miss the first of chances when he wasted from point blank-range in the 13th minute.
Just two minutes later, Zamalek were awarded a penalty after their former full-back Saleh Mousa handled the ball inside the area.
Shikabala stepped up to take the penalty but an awful effort saw El-Entag keeper Amer Amer deny him and the Zamalek winger missed again on the rebound.
The second half kicked off with Zamalek still unable to up the tempo and striker Bassem again missed an easy chance following a cross from in-form left back Mohamed Nassef.
Zamalek continued to waste as substitute Stanley Ohawuchi, on for the injured Ayman Hefni, missed after a layoff from another sub in Mohamed Ibrahim.
But the fit-again Ibrahim proved to be the key man minutes later when a clever low cross across the six-yard box was smashed in by Bassem whose 79th-minute goal proved the winner.
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