China’s 0-0 draw with Qatar did nothing to boost their dwindling hopes of reaching Russia 2018, even after World Cup-winning coach Lippi was appointed last month.
Mile Jedinak scored twice from the spot as Australia came from behind to draw 2-2 with Thailand, dropping out of Group B’s automatic qualifying places as a result.
Elsewhere, Japan eased the pressure on coach Vahid Halilhodzic with a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia, while South Korea needed Koo Ja-Cheol’s late winner to overcome Uzbekistan 2-1.
Goals from Hiroshi Kiyotake and Genki Haraguchi put Japan back on track as they beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in Saitama to go level on points with the visitors at the top of Group B.
South Korea gave their coach Uli Stielike a 62nd birthday to remember but there were some nervy moments after Uzbekistan’s Marat Bikmaev opened the scoring on 25 minutes.
Nam Tae-Hee equalised after half-time before Koo rifled in the winner on 85 minutes, ensuring Stielike’s men leapfrog the Uzbeks into second place in Group A.
Iran were held 0-0 by Syria in Malaysia but they remain top of the group, one point ahead of South Korea.
In a late Group B match in Abu Dhabi, the UAE defeated Iraq 2-0 to take their tally to nine points and level with Australia.
Ahmed Khalil put the Emiratis ahead in the 26th minute while Ismail Matar found the mark in second-half stoppage time as the hosts kept their hopes of a World Cup finals berth alive.