Zamalek moved up to second after claiming a narrow 1-0 home victory over Gaish yesterday, a victory that marked their eighth successive win to keep alive their hopes of competing for the Egyptian Premier League title.
A second-half goal from central defender Mahmoud Fathallah helped Zamalek, who last won the league title in 2004, maintain their impressive results under coach Hossam Hassan who has turned around their fortunes since his appointment in November last year.
And Hassan had special words of praise for Man of the Match Hussein Yasser, who joined the club in January from Ahly.
"I want to thank Yasser tonight," Hassan was quoted as saying in Filgoal.com.
"He produced superb displays in two consecutive games despite lacking match fitness. All the players played very well, including youngster Omar Gaber who was not affected by the pressure of making his debut."
Zamalek, who faced an unthinkable prospect of being relegated to the second division prior to the arrival of Hassan, are now seven points adrift of leaders and arch-rivals Ahli.
They lie ahead of third-placed Ismaili, who crushed Ittihad 3-0 earlier on Thursday, on goal difference.
Gaish, who hoped to break into the top four at the expense of Zamalek, remain sixth on 30 points.
Meanwhile, Petrojet's title challenge looks over after they lost 3-1 to Military Production.
Mohamed Zaki put the military side ahead, before an own goal by Petrojet midfielder Kamal Ali few made it 2-0. Ivory Coast striker Abou Kone made it 3-0, before Eric Bekoe found a consolation for Petrojet towards the end.
Petrojet now trail Ahly by nine points but are fighting poor form and appear to have lost momentum in their season.
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