Ismaili edges closer to AhlyCairo: Two goals from Abdul-Halim Ali and Osama Hassan in the first-half were enough for Zamalek to grab an easy 2-0 home victory over ENPPI in the Egyptian League on Thursday.
The Cairo giants are still in third place of the league table with 33 points, five behind second-placed Ismaili and 11 adrift of leaders Al Ahly.
ENPPI s defeat left them in the 13th place with 16 points, three above the relegation zone.
Unmarked Ali ended his goal drought as early as the sixth minute when he connected with Hassan s misdirected shot to slot into the back of the net.
The 33-year-old striker turned provider in the 29th minute to help Hassan, who was deployed in the heart of midfield by French coach Henri Michel, double the lead for the hosts.
Ali laid off the ball on the edge of the area to Hassan who curled a stinging shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Hani Abdullah wasted the chance to pull one back on the stroke of the hour when he was released by Samir Sabri s deft pass in the 18-yars box but fired poorly wide.
Meanwhile, Ismaili continues to gain ground on Ahly’s dominance of the league standings.
A last-gasp penalty by Hosni Abd-Rabou earned Ismaili a 3-2 home victory over Ghazl Mahalla on Thursday to keep in sight of Ahly who hammered Arab Contractors 5-1.
Abd-Rabou put the hosts ahead in the 15th minute from a curling free-kick before Omar Islam leveled the score four minutes after the interval.
Ahmed Hassan added the second for Mahalla after notching home into the empty net in the 58th minute but Mohamed Fadl equalized again in the 79th minute.
Abd-Rabou s penalty in the dying seconds helped Ismaili secure a hard-fought win.
At the Arab Contractors Stadium, Emad Meteb scored twice and Mohamed Aboutrika, Osama Hosni and Flavio Amado were also on the score sheet to help Ahly make up for their 3-0 crushing defeat to Ismaili on Sunday.
Nigerian striker Minusu Buba scored Arab Contractors only goal in the first-half.
Ahly are on top of the league table with 44 points, six ahead of second-placed Ismaili while Arab Contractors lie sixth on 27 points.
Buba had the first chance for the visitors as early as the sixth minute when he was picked out unmarked inside the area by Sherif Al-Beyali s low cross but his hesitation resulted in the defense clearing the ball. But it was Ahly who opened the score line in the 16th minute when Hosni poked home from the second attempt after his initial shot hit a defender s body following Hassan Mostafa s low cross.
Four minutes later, Aboul-Magd Mostafa curled a brilliant free-kick that went just wide of the post.
Buba leveled the score in the 23rd minute after he capitalized on a poor marking by Ahly’s defense to head home Moataz Hamed s inch-perfect cross from the right flank.
Aboutrika restored the Cairo giants lead in the 34th minute with a superb looping header past the advancing keeper after being set-up by Hosni s cross.
Mostafa almost added the third three minutes before the interval when he latched-on to Hossam Ashour s through pass and went face-to-face with Arab Contractors keeper Mohammed Al-Akabawi, who blocked his effort.
Egypt international striker Meteb added the third eight minutes after re-start as he controlled Mostafa s chip pass before sending a low drive past Al-Akabawi.
Two late penalties awarded for Ahly were converted into the back of the net by Meteb and Flavio to complete the rout.