Shabab Al Ahli scraped through with hard-fought 1-0 over Ittihad Kalba to hold on to the lead of the standings by the end of Round Nine of the U-21 UAE Pro League.
Sultan Fayez Ahmed Mohammed scored the match-winner one minute after the hour mark at the Rashid Stadium.
The close win took Shabab Al Ahli to 21 points and the top position leaving Al Ain in the second spot with 19 points following their tough 4-3 away win against Al Dhafra.
Eisa Khalfan opened the scoring for Al Ain in the 19th minute and then added a second in the 46thminute, before Mohammed Awad also netted a brace in the 74th and 86th minutes to cap a fine triumph.
Ajman continued their fine form in recent times with a 2-1 away win against Al Jazira to climb into fifth place in the table.
Salem Al Saboosi gave Ajman the lead in the 13th minute and Raed Mahmoud made it 2-0 in the 35th minute.
Al Jazira tried to fight back and got a consolation goal through Abdullah Idrees in the 56th minute.
The Dubai derby yielded no result with the neighbours unable to break the deadlock while settling for a goalless draw.
Al Nasr remain in eighth place with 12 points, while Al Wasl continued in second-last place with seven points.
The second day of the league had three matches with Caio Rosa on target twice in the 29th and 32nd minute to lead Sharjah to full points with a 2-1 win against hosts Al Wahda.
Mohammed Ali Al Obaidi pulled one back for Al Wahda, but it was a little too late as Sharjah returned with full points to climb into fourth position with 15 points as Al Wahda continued in their third position with 17 points.
Emirates Club powered their way to an emphatic 3-0 win over Bani Yas to stay in tenth spot with nine points, while Bani Yas remained unchanged in 12th place with seven points.
Khor Fakkan and Al Orooba were also both unable to make any progress in the table after their game ended in a 0-0 draw.