A first-half penalty from defender Mahmoud Alaa handed Zamalek a nervy 1-0 win over Masry on Thursday, giving new coach Jaime Pacheco a triumphant start to his second spell with the Cairo giants.
The Portuguese tactician was named Zamalek's head coach last week following the departure of Frenchman Patrice Carteron, who has accepted a lucrative deal with Saudi side Al-Taawoun.
Alaa put Zamalek ahead in the 17th minute from the spot, after Ahmed Shousha was judged to have handled the ball in the area. The decision was given following VAR review. As a result, Alaa secured his tenth goal of the season.
The game saw a major twist in the 36th minute when midfield maestro Ferjani Sassi received his marching orders after an argument with the referee.
Zamalek had a golden opportunity to double the lead, but Alaa's second penalty kick bounced off the goalpost.
Masry dominated the second half in terms of possession but struggled to break through the Whites' defence.
They had their best chance at the hour mark following good cooperation between Karim El Eraki and Omar Kamal, who set up Palestinian striker Mahmoud Wadi in the area, only to be denied by a superb save from keeper Mohamed Abou Gabal.
Zamalek are now second with 64 points, seven ahead of Pyramids FC, who have a game in hand, with three games to the end of the league.
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