Wednesday's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers in Asia began with an intriguing contest that saw blood brothers Korea Republic and DPR Korea draw out 1-1 in Shanghai, China.
Hong Yong-Jo got the men from the northern portion of the Korean peninsula on the board first, hitting home from the spot in the 63rd minute. However, their celebrations were short-lived as Ki Sung-Yeung, just 19, equalised just five minutes later with a fall-away volley that somehow eluded the DPR keeper.
Korea DPR are well out in front Asian Zone Group 2 with four points, tied with Saudi Arabia who beat UAE later in the day.
The second Asian contest saw Australia pull off an impressive three points on a tough away daw against Uzbekistan in Tashkent. Scott Chipperfield scored the lone goal on 26 minutes to see the Australians - in their first FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign as part of the Asian Zone - move to three points in Group 1.
The Uzbeks are mired at the bottom with no points from their two matches.
Saudi Arabia came from a goal down to shock the United Arab Emirates in their game in Abu Dhabi later on Wednesday. Subait Khater scored for the home side on 23 minutes, but the Saudis were not to be denied. Abdoh Autef hit back in the 68th minute and Ahmed Al Fraidi sealed the 2-1 Saudi win just five minutes later.
Qatar roared to the summit of Group 1 in the last of Wednesday's games in Asia with a 1-1 draw at home against ten-man Bahrain. Sebastian Quitana opened the scoring in Doha with only five minutes gone. Abdulla Fatada hit back for the visitors in the 66th minute despite having Abdulla Marzooq sent off in the 35th minute for a second yellow card.
Results:Korea DPR 1-1 Korea Republic
Uzbekistan 0-1 Australia
United Arab Emirates 1-2 Saudi Arabia
Qatar 1-1 Bahrain