Al Shabab was required to come from a goal down to see off rock-bottom Al Ittihad Kalba on Sunday (AEDT) and keep its Arabian Gulf League title hopes intact.
With Al Ain losing to 1-0 Al Fujairah and leader Al Jazira going down 2-1 against Al Dhafra, Shabab's plans to take advantage were dealt an early blow when Papa Waigo opened the scoring.
The league's bottom side has taken just four points all season and, having led at the break, it was business as usual in the second half as Azizbek Haydarov and Edgar Silva turned the game around.
The victory moves Al Shabab three points off the top two.
Mirko Vucinic's second-half penalty was not enough for leader Al Jazira as it succumbed against Al Dhafra thanks to Mohamed Al Khoori's late winner.
At the bottom, Emirates and Al Sharjah both pulled further clear of danger with important wins.
The former came through 3-2 against Bani Yas - Alexandro's brace proving key to the victory - while the latter put four past high-flying Al Wahda.
Having not scored since January, Brazilian striker Wanderley got back on the goal trail in some style as he scored a hat-trick in Al Sharjah's 4-1 win, with Adil Saqor Abdulla sent off for Al Wahda late on.
Elsewhere, Al Wasl and Al Nasr shared the spoils in a four-goal thriller - Ibrahima Traore with a brace for the latter - while Al Ahli's trip to Ajman ended goalless.