Bahrain and Saudis draw
Stalemate for Bahrain's Abdullah Isamil Baba and Saudi's Abdullah Mohammed [AFP]Bahrain were held to a 0-0 draw by Saudi Arabia in their World Cup Asian playoff first leg at the Manama national stadium.
The two neighbouring Gulf states will now travel to Riyadh for Wednesday's return match.
The winners advance to a two-legged playoff against Oceania champions New Zealand in October and November for a place in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Four teams from Asia - Australia, Japan, North Korea and South Korea - have already qualified for next year's World Cup.
Saudi Arabia were lucky to get away with a goalless draw after having been at the receiving end of a strong Bahrain attack for most of the second-half.
Saudi striker Yasser Al Qahtani had their best chance midway through the first-half but his progress was halted by the efficient Bahraini defence.
Bahrain were hoping to seal the match by a three-goal margin which would have boosted their chances of their first World Cup appearance.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain were given a second chance to progress to the finals in South Africa after finishing third in their groups.
Bahrain are bidding to qualify for the first time after losing a playoff to Trinidad and Tobago four years ago.
The Saudis are striving for a fifth consecutive appearance