Bahrain opened the scoring on 17 minutes after Talal Mohamed cut in from the left to fire across Uzbek keeper Evgeni Safonov and into the far corner.
Bu the hosts wasted no time in getting back on equal terms as just two minutes later, Maxim Shatskikh headed a fine leveller to herald a tide of pressure on the visitors' goal which failed to produce a breakthrough.
Do or die for Trini and Bahrain
The second leg takes place on October 12 to determine which side will face the fourth-placed CONCACAF side in a playoff for a berth in the finals.
Trinidad still fancy their chances
Trinidad held by Bahrain in World Cup playoff