Ahly snapped an unusual two-match winless run after beating Ittihad of Alexandria 2-1 in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday, four days before they meet perennial rivals Zamalek in the Cairo derby.
Moroccan defender Badr Benoun converted a penalty in the 50th minute to give Ahly the lead after a drab first half and playmaker Magdi Afsha doubled the lead six minutes later with a close-range header.
Substitute striker Mohamed El-Sabahi pulled one back for the hosts in stoppage time but it was too little, too late as Ahly held on for a valuable win following a draw with Gouna and a stunning loss to promoted Ghazl El-Mahalla in their previous two matches.
Ahly remain second in the league table with 40 points, four points behind leaders Zamalek but the Red Devils have two matches in hand.
After their frustrating loss to Mahalla, Ahly players appeared more energetic in the first half, although they could not make their domination count after struggling for openings.
The first threat came in the 38th minute when Afsha released winger Hussein El-Shahat but his close-range shot went wide.
Four minutes into the second half, lone striker Marwan Mohsen won a penalty after being fouled inside the area by Ittihad defender Damion Lowe.
Spot-kick specialist Benoun, back to the fold after recovering from an injury, tucked away the penalty.
Six minutes later, Afsha added the second after meeting a fine cross from Hussein El-Shahat with a diving header that went in after striking the keeper's hands.
Ahly had a chance to kill off the game with one minute remaining but Mohamed Sherif fired wide from a good scoring position.
El-Sabahi ensured a nervy finish for Ahly when he caught their defenders napping to collect a floated ball on the left hand side of the area and slot home. However, the Cairo giants kept their composure in the remaining minute to return to winning ways.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)