A late penalty from Ahmed Zizo and a stoppage-time goal from substitute Omar El-Said gave Zamalek a barely deserved 2-0 win away to Ismaily on Friday to spoil the debut of Argentinean coach Juan Brown.
Zamalek were on the back foot for the majority of the game but were given a penalty out of the blue six minutes from time, which Zizo tucked away to convert his fourth spot-kick in as many Egyptian Premier League games.
El-Said, who replaced ineffective Tunisian forward Seifeddine Jaziri in the second half, ensured the win deep in stoppage time after breaking clear from the halfway line as Ismaily poured forward en masse in search of an equalizer.
Ismaily’s terrible start saw them extend their losing streak to four games as they lie at the bottom with no points, with new boss Brown, who took over last week, in for a monumental task.
The hosts had the upper hand in the first half, wasting at least three chances as Zamalek looked disjointed, with French coach Patrice Carteron making some surprising changes in his starting line-up, including fielding natural left-back Abdallah Gomaa as a right-back.
Ismaily winger Abdel-Rahman Magdi, back from a lengthy suspension, headed over the bar when well-positioned to score after two minutes and went close again with a fine curling shot in the 25th minute.
Namibian striker Benson Shilongo could only shoot straight at Zamalek’s keeper Mohamed Awad after being played in nine minutes later, with Ismaily paying for their profligacy in the second half.
A shot from Zamalek winger Mostafa Fathi, in one of the team’s few attempts, hit the outstretched arm of defender Baher El-Mohammadi as the referee instantly pointed to the spot.
Zizo’s powerful shot went in off the bar as Zamalek opened the scoring against the run of play.
The in-form winger then turned provider four minutes into stoppage time, releasing El-Said with a superb threaded pass to go through and beat the keeper at his near post with a delicate low shot.