Said scored the opener on 19 minutes and doubled the lead with a stunning shot on 58 minutes before substitute Zakaria wrapped victory with the third in virtually the last kick of the game.
Ahly held on to victory despite finishing the game with ten men after captain Hossam Ashour was sent off on 69 minutes for elbowing Haithem Jouini in an off-the-ball incident.
Esperance making a debut appearance at the mini-league stage of the second-tier continental club championship, paid dearly for their sluggish defending, allowing their rivals to punish them on several occasions.
The brightest spots for the visiting two-time African champions were Nigeria-import Samuel Eduok and Ghana midfielder Harrison Afful, but it was Eduok whose runs at the Egyptian backline were the highlight of their game.
With both teams struggling in search of their feet in the opening minutes, Ahly were the first to threaten on 18 minutes, and it was back-from-injury Amr Gamal with a cross that met the head of Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ but it was no trouble for Esperance goalie Moez Ben Cherifia.
A minute on, Said put the ‘Red Devils’ in the lead with a superb grounder that went past Cherifia. The midfielder controlled a long pass from defender Saad Samir, weaved past his marker before firing a low shot which Cherifia could not get his fingers to despite stretching his fullest.
On 22 minutes, Said almost doubled the lead after trapping nicely from a throw-in by Bassem Ali, only to volley wide with Cherifia at his mercy.
The best chance for the visitors came three minutes later with midfielder Hatem Bejaoui fetching Eduok, but the Nigerian’s shot flew just across the face of goal.
The hosts solidified their lead on 58 minutes through Said, who was by far their best player of the night. Hossam Ghaly controlled with his chest from a Walid Soliman cheeky free-kick before setting up Said, who struck a bullet shot that zoomed straight into the net.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, it was Ahly who dominated possession as the visitors never recovered from the two goals.
Eduok was unlucky to snatch a consolation for Esperance in added-on time with a header from a corner that bounced off the upright.
Ahly turned on the style from a counter and substitute Ahmed Abdelzaher squared Zakaria, who slammed home to wrap up victory.
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