Needing a point away against Australia to seal third place in Group A, Bahrain failed to achieve their goal, slumping to a 2-0 defeat. This result leaves the Gulf side needing a draw from their decisive final match at home against Uzbekistan in a week's time.
Meanwhile, there will be no such opportunities for Qatar, who despite bravely holding hosts Japan to a 1-1 draw in their final game, were eliminated after taking only six points from eight qualifiers. Following the lead of the United Arab Emirates, the Qataris became the second side to bow out on the Asian Zone's final qualifying round.
Over Group B, Saudi Arabia's goalless draw in Korea Republic kept them level on 11 points with Korea DPR, though the latter are still ahead on goal difference. Iran, for their part, notched their first win in four games with a narrow home defeat of UAE to keep their faint hopes of reaching South Africa 2010 alive.