Francis Doe scored his first goal for Ahli as the title holders kicked off their Egyptian Premier League campaign with an easy 2-0 home win over Ghazl Mahalla on Thursday.
Ahmed Hassan broke the deadlock six minutes before the interval with a fierce long-range drive.
Liberian striker Doe, who joined Ahli on a free transfer in the close season, wrapped up the win midway through the second half.
Ahli coach Hossam Al-Badri, who took over at the club following the departure of Portuguese Manuel Jose at the end of last season and employed an unfamiliar 4-4-2 formation, secured his first competitive win.
The Red Devils, who bid to win a sixth consecutive league title, lost 2-0 to Harras Hodoud in the Egyptian Super Cup.
Doe played as a lone striker and was supported by classy playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika and veteran midfielder Hassan.
Mohamed Samir partnered Wael Gomaa in the heart of Ahli's defense due to the absence of skipper Ahmed Al-Sayed, who is suspended.
Ahli laid siege to Mahalla's area from the very beginning as the visitors defended in numbers.
A brilliant acrobatic volley from Abou-Treika following an inviting cross from right-back Ahmed Ali went just wide of the post after 14 minutes.
Doe opens his Ahli account
Doe was lively in the first half but some inaccurate finishing did not allow him to open the scoring.
He failed to get on the end of a Hassan cross with the goal gaping and hit the side-netting shortly afterwards when it looked easy to score.
Ahli's pressure paid off though when Hassan's blistering shot struck the keeper's hands and found its way into the net.
The hosts survived a couple of scars early in the second period as Mahalla adopted a more attacking strategy in a bid to level the score.
Ahli's usual third-choice keeper Ahmed Abdul-Menem, who was handed a rare starting berth, tipped a powerful free-kick from Morsi Abdul-Latif.
He also denied Karim Adel a certain goal after a one-on-one situation.
Doe ensured Ahli's victory seven minutes past the hour mark after making a smart move to notch his maiden goal.
The 23-year-old broke Mahalla's offside trap and latched onto a long ball inside the area, cut past his marker and sent a left-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net.