South Korea scored two late goals to see off 10-man Saudi Arabia and move two points clear at the top of World Cup qualifying Group Two tonight.
Lee Keun-ho scrambled home the opening goal in the 77th minute and substitute Park Chu-young sealed the win in stoppage time at King Fahad International Stadium.
The visitors task was made easier by the 58th-minute dismissal of striker Naif Hazazi for a second yellow card.
The Koreans now have seven points from three games, two more than Iran, who could only manage a 1-1 with United Arab Emirates in Dubai.
It was the hosts, though, who came close to opening the scoring in the fifth minute when Hazazi's header was cleared off the line by Lee Young-pyo.
Fisal bin Sultan was also denied by a defender on the line with the follow-up.
Kang Min-so was then on hand to dispossess Bin Sultan as he looked to threaten, while Osama Al Harbi somehow contrived to head over the crossbar from the resulting corner.
That was as good as it got for the Saudis, though, as the visitors started to gain a foothold.
Lee Keun-ho was denied by Waleed Ali after being picked out by a long ball from Lee Chung-yong, while the keeper was then called into action to keep out a Jeong Shung-hoon effort.
The home side suffered a blow just before the hour-mark when Hazazi went through one-on-one with Lee Woon-jae, nicking the ball past the keeper before flinging himself to the ground.
Singapore referee Abdul Malik Bashir spotted the dive and showed Hazazi his second yellow of the game.
And the extra man proved telling as the Koreans dominated the final 30 minutes.
Ki Sung-yueng headed over before Park Ji-sung fired just wide after a run through the Saudi defence.
But with 13 minutes remaining, Lee Young-pyo's cross picked out the unmarked Park Ji-sung and, as Waleed Ali came off his line to close him down, he squared the ball for Lee Keun-ho to slot home.
Substitute Malek Maaz fired just wide at the other end as the Saudis almost grabbed a leveller, but Park Chu-young wrapped up the win for South Korea in stoppage time with a fine curler from the edge of the area.
Coach Huh Jung-moo was delighted as South Korea recorded a hard-fought 2-0 win over 10-man Saudi Arabia in today's World Cup qualifier to take command of a tight Group Two.
"We prepared very well for the match before arriving in Saudi Arabia because we believed it would be a tough game," Huh said.
"We did not play our usual style, especially in the first half, but after we scored the opener we regained our confidence and produced a good performance.
"If you look at where the team was a year ago and compare it with what we have now you will notice that we have solved a lot of problems and achieved many things."
Counterpart Nasser Al Johar hailed Saudi Arabia's display but was left to rue Hazazi's crucial dismissal.
Hazazi was sent-off after he went down inside the area attempting to round goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae, which resulted in his second yellow card of the match.
"When the referee sent-off Naif Hazazi, it changed everything for my team as we lost a good player and a chance to take the lead," said Al Johar.
"I hope that the AFC will review the referee's decision but as far as the football match is concerned, I congratulate the Koreans for their victory.
"We lost to a strong team although we wasted many opportunities to change the result. We had chances to score after Korea's first goal but luck was not with us.
"It was my responsibility, I cannot blame the players. My squad did very well in the match despite the bad fortune that affected us before and during the game.
"I am very sad at losing this important match on home soil but it is not fair to say that we are out of the running for a place in the 2010 World Cup finals.
"If I continue in my position with the team, you will be congratulating me after our last group game."