Senegalese striker Aliou Badji shone with a goal and assist as Ahly continued their smooth ride towards a fifth straight Egyptian Premier League title with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Masry on Saturday.
After a goalless first half, Ahly ended the resistance of Masry when Badji scored with a simple effort early in the second half before setting up defensive midfielder Hamdi Fathi for a second nine minutes later as Masry's defence was easily breached following the dismissal of Ahmed Yasser on the stroke of halftime.
Badji took his tally to three goals in eight league appearances after joining from Austrian side Rapid Vienna in January.
Ahly edged closer to the league title after restoring their 17-point lead over second-placed Pyramids with 11 matches remaining. Masry, who missed five players due to coronavirus infections, dropped to 15th on 22 points, just one above the relegation zone.
Despite their huge lead on top of the table, Ahly coach Rene Weiler once again fielded a full-strength side, but opted to play with two established strikers rather than a lone frontman.
Ahly mainly relied on long balls thrown to Badji and his striker partner Marwan Mohsen, but chances were few and far between in the first half. They lost midfielder Amr El-Sulaya to injury in the first half.
Badji had two goals chalked off for a foul and offside respectively before the red card of Ahmed Yasser, whose reckless challenge saw him receive a second booking, helped Ahly create openings after the break.
Badji broke the deadlock one minute into the second period when his low shot went under the keeper and into the net following a pull-back from right-back Mohamed Hani, who was released by a neat back-heel pass from winger Ahmed El-Sheikh.
He turned from scorer to provider in the 55th minute, his flick following a right-wing cross finding the unmarked Fathi to head home from close range.
Badji could have also scored another goal in stoppage time but blasted his shot over the bar with only the keeper to beat.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)