Male: Two second-half goals from Yaya Soumahoro helped Muang Thong United fight back from a goal down to defeat VB 3-2 at the National Stadium and take control of AFC Cup Group G.
After Ahmed Thoriq had given the hosts an early lead, Muang Thong levelled through Piyachart Thamaphan before Soumahoro struck twice to put the visitors in the driving seat.
Ashad Ali reduced the deficit to ensure a nervy final 15 minutes for Muang Thong but in the end, they closed out the result in relative comfort to pull three points clear of South China at the top of Group G.
Having lost 3-1 in Thailand, VB were eager for three points to maintain their bid for a place in the last 16 and they were first to threaten after eight minutes when Ali had an attempt on goal following a corner but Muang Thong keeper Kawan Thamsatchanan was equal to his effort.
However, just a minute later the hosts took the lead as Thoriq met Cengzi Huseyin's corner with a fine header that found the back of the net.
Teeratep Winothai shot wide in the 26th minute for Muang Thong before Kawan denied Ali Umar just after the half-hour mark.
Umar then wasted a great chance in the 37th minute when Ali Ashfaq played the striker in but he failed to beat the Muang Thong keeper when presented with a clear sight of goal.
Two goals in quick succession then changed the complexion of the game.
Muang Thong levelled in the 54th minute when Piyachart chipped Imran Mohamed as the VB keeper advanced out of his goal and his effort proved enough to beat Akram Abdul Ghani's desperate attempted clearance.
Soumahoro then gave the visitors the lead two minutes later when Mohamed was beaten by the midfielder's shot before adding his second and Muang Thong's third in the 69th minute with a powerful strike.
Piyachart then fired over when unmarked inside the box and Ashfaaq saw an attempt sail wide of the post before VB pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to go when Ali headed home Huseyin's free-kick.
But the Maldivians were unable to conjure an equaliser in the closing stages and now lie one point behind South China in third with qualification very much in the balance.