Ahly playmaker Magdi Afsha celebrates his goal against Enppi (Ahram)
Ahly secured an easy 2-0 victory over Enppi on Saturday to trim the gap with leaders Zamalek back to two points and keep alive their hopes of defending their Egyptian Premier League title.
Zamalek put pressure on their Cairo nemesis earlier in the day with a 2-0 win over Ismaily, which extended their lead on top to five points.
But Ahly, who gave Zamalek an advantage after being held to a 1-1 draw by Ismaily last Wednesday, responded with an efficient display this time around as the exciting league race goes down to the wire.
With only four matches remaining, Zamalek have 70 points, with Ahly second on 68. The Red Devils need to at least move level with Zamalek to win a sixth consecutive league title, given their head-to-head advantage over their perennial rivals.
Enppi, who finished with ten men after defender Rami Sabri was sent off for a second bookable offence eight minutes from time, remain seventh with 39 points.
Striker Walter Bwalya, who replaced Mohamed Sherif in the starting line-up after the league's top scorer had picked up an injury against Ismaily, needed two minutes to open the scoring against Enppi, cutting ahead of Sabri at the near post to head home.
Nigerian striker Dinopeter Jude Airaodion created Enppi's only chance in the first half when his powerful shot was tipped over by experienced goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi but Ahly quickly regained control.
Playmaker Magdi Afsha made it 2-0 in the 28th minute with a delightful low shot that nestled into the far bottom corner after a superb exchange of passes with winger Mahmoud Kahraba.
Bwalya missed a sitter six minutes later, miscuing his effort with the goal at his mercy after a low cross from the lively Afsha found him unmarked.
The Congolese also sent a free header wide early in the second half, although Ahly took their foot off the gas pedal.
Enppi could have narrowed the gap with 11 minutes remaining when El-Shennawi let a tame cross slip out of his grasp but John Ebuka's follow-up effort struck defender Ayman Ashraf and went out for a corner.
Bwalya missed a sitter again with four minutes remaining but Ahly did enough to claim all three points and cling to the coat tails of Zamalek.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)