In front of an eerily-deserted Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, recalled veteran forward Ismail Matar made it 35 goals in 113 appearances with a tap-in before the impressive Walid Abbas staked his claim for a starting berth at left-back with a fine strike etched with desire.
Neither the setting or the opponents – ranked 53 places below them by FIFA – provided inspiration. The crucial competitive test against Iraq on Tuesday and the chance to make up lost ground during the third-and-final round also curbed enthusiasm.
This was particularly evident in the restrained display of key playmaker Omar Abdulrahman, on the day he was named on the final three-man shortlist for the 2016 AFC Player of the Year. Yet even when going through the motions, his preordained talent will still shine through.
Time stood still with him in possession on 30 minutes. A perfectly weighted and typically nonchalant pass then cut a path in the Bahrain defence for the onrushing Abbas to tee up Matar from close range.
After his disappearing act during the 3-0 humbling by Saudi Arabia last month which has put the Whites fourth in Group B and outside the procession spots, such rarified moments are required at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.
"Omar deserves to be not only nominated, but to be the best player in Asia." An effusive Mahdi Ali on @3moory10's AFC POY nom @Sport360— Matt Monaghan (@mattmonaghan360) November 9, 2016
Under-pressure Whites boss Mahdi Ali declined to produce a grand experiment. A measured approach was taken, with chances afforded to the likes of Al Jazira goalkeeper Ali Khaseif, Al Wahda centre-back Hamdan Al Kamali and both scorers.
Future time was also granted to Khamis Esmail of Al Ahli and Al Nasr tyro Tariq Ahmed to develop their centre-midfield partnership.
Last year’s AFC Player of the Year Ahmed Khalil caused panic with an early low header, before Matar struck. Disappointingly, the breakthrough failed to illicit a surge of adrenaline.
The second-half drifted bye at a serene pace. Matar’s feint set the advancing Abbas free to fire in the second, before Jazira starlet Khalfan Mubarak gained valuable minutes once Amoory was sacrificed.