Leandro Assumpcao hit a deadly double as three goals in a five-minute spell helped Muang Thong United defeat his former side Chonburi 3-1 to keep the champions just two points off top spot in the Thai League (T1).
A sluggish first-half performance from the hosts saw Chonburi go in 1-0 up at the break through Renan Marques' penalty. But Muang Thong turned it around with 25 minutes remaining, as Naoaki Aoyama levelled before Leandro struck twice to seal the three points.
Muang Thong's recent defensive frailty was in evidence as early as the third minute when Celio Santos' poor headed clearance landed at the feet of Nurul Sriyankem. The ball sat up nicely for the winger, but he sliced his shot wide from 20 yards.
The hosts struggled to make inroads early in the game and Heberty Fernandes' long-range effort in the 17th minute drifted harmlessly into the hands of Chanin Sae-ear in the Chonburi goal.
Minutes later, Heberty tried to force things again and he won a free kick 30 yards from goal. The Brazilian took it himself, but his ambitious effort was deflected wide.
And the visitors were handed the opportunity to open the scoring when a clumsy high challenge from Celio caught Thiago Cunha. Marques drilled the penalty low into the corner for his 17th strike of the season, and eighth from the spot.
The home side's struggle to trouble Chanin went on when Theerathon Bunmathan's surge ended in a foul just outside the box. Tristan Do took the set piece, but his shot was well off target.
Theerathon was the again the architect of Muang Thong's next attack as he slipped the ball through to Adisak Kraisorn. The Thailand striker couldn't find the right angle, and crashed his shot into the side netting.
But Theerathon wasn't so clever in defence when Nurul slipped past him in the Muang Thong area before firing in from an angle. Kawin Thamsatchanan spilled the shot, but the keeper recovered brilliantly to keep out Marques' effort from the rebound.
With Buriram's 2-0 win over Thai Honda in an earlier kickoff confirmed at half-time, the Kirins knew they needed to turn things around to avoid slipping further behind their rivals.
And six minutes into the second period, the champions had a great chance to level the score. A ball over the top found Leandro in a race with Chanin, and the striker nodded the ball past the keeper. Unfortunately, the Brazilian took it too far wide, and he blazed his effort wide from a narrow angle.
Leandro then headed narrowly over from Theerathon's corner as the hosts began to turn the screw.
And they finally levelled the score in the 65th minute. After earning yet another corner on the left, Theerathon's kick was headed in by an unmarked Aoyama.
With the pressure lifted, Muang Thong struck again just three minutes later, and it was created by Theerathon's left boot once more. The full-back swung in an excellent cross and Leandro rose to head in from close range.
The visitors were rattled and they were exposed on the break in 70th minute when Adisak put Do in the clear on the right. Instead of shooting, Do chose to play a low ball to the far post where Leandro tapped into an empty net.
Theerathon, Heberty and Charyl Chappuis came close to adding a fourth in the closing stages as Muang Thong finished the game comfortably -- something that their fans haven't seen in a long time.