Al Ain and Shabab Al Ahli further consolidated their right to be among the firm front-runners for the title with convincing wins in Round Seven of the UAE ADNOC Pro League last week.
Al Ain paced themselves well for a deserving 2-0 away win against Al Wasl, while Shabab Al Ahli fought from a goal down to win 2-1 against visiting Al Jazira.
Ivorian Kouame Autonne gave Al Ain the lead in the 33rd minute, while former Al Wasl player Caio Canedo added a second in the 78th minute to garner full points for the visitors and keep Al Ain at the top with 17 points.
In contrast, Shabab Al Ahli played with their backs against the wall for a 2-1 win and keep the pressure on early leaders Al Ain.
Down by an Abdullah Ramadan goal in the 15th minute, the home team got an equalizer in the 39th minute when Yuri Cesar volleyed home at the far post from a corner kick.
Shabab Al Ahli scored the winner in the 72nd minute after Ahmad Noorollah found his way past Ali Khasief after being fed by Carlos Eduardo to take their tally to 14 points and stay within striking distance of leaders Al Ain.
Al Nasr was the third team making an impact in the seventh round with a resounding 3-0 win against former champions Sharjah.
In what looked like a close encounter turned out into a rather one-sided affair with Diaa Sabi’a securing a brace before Ryan Mendes added a third late in the game.
The win has now tied Al Nasr with Al Jazira with an identical 13 points, while Sharjah slipped down into fifth with 12 points.
Al Wahda were the other big winners during the week with a well-fought 4-1 home win against bottom-placed Emirates, who are yet to register a single point in the league so far this season.
There was movement in the second half of the standings table as well with Al Dhafra and Ittihad Kalba garnering vital points against Ajman and Al Orooba, respectively.
The experienced Makhete Diop scored a quick first half brace after Moroccan Issam El Adoua had cancelled out the third minute opener from Bubacarr Trawally to take Al Dhafra’s tally to seven points and pull them away from relegation zone spots. Ittihad Kalba, on the other hand, did well to hold on to a plucky 2-1 win against Al Orooba.
Action will now get a bit cramped up now with a temporary shift to the return leg of Round One of the UAE Pro League Cup matches on Monday and Tuesday (October 25-26) before being followed immediately by Round Eight matches of the ADNOC UAE Pro League over the weekend (October 27-28).