Elsewhere, Villarreal came back from a goal down to take their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory at home to Eibar.
The big game on Sunday sees Real Madrid make their league debut away to Real Sociedad and it will be interesting to see how Zinedine Zidane's side perform and whether Martin Odegaard, who returns after a successful season on loan in San Sebastian, plays a part in the game.
The South American zone World Cup qualifiers were originally scheduled to begin in late March but were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With just four minutes to go, Al-Ahli found a breakthrough as former Chelsea winger Marin drove into the heart of the Al-Shorta defense, and after a quick one-two with Abdulrahman Ghareeb, the German kept his composure to slot home from six yards.
Hoffenheim defended deep in the hope of protecting their narrow lead to the final whistle, but it didn't work out as Cologne substitute Dominick Drexler tapped home a rebound from close range to restore parity in the 88th minute.
Meanwhile the press report that Barcelona still have to settle the final details for paying off the contract of former coach Quique Setien and unless they do that before September 27th Koeman will not be able to sit in the dugout of the Camp Nou for Barca's opening La Liga game, which is at home to Villarreal. Enditem
"He is an exciting player with a huge potential. Kamil is 22, so he has his best years ahead of him and he will be an important player for us. He is someone we have closely watched over a long period of time and as a full international for Poland, we believe we are making an excellent addition to our squad," commented Derby County manager, Philipp Cocu.
Shenzhen captain Gao Lin put the game to bed on 28 minutes when he scored from a tight angle after Preciado's header parried by Jianye keeper Wang Guoming.
The Spanish press reported on Saturday that the Welsh international is carrying an injury that sidelined him for a month, but Bale made no reference to that in his first interview.
Having to play every two to three days after only one week of rest "is the biggest challenge all of us have had to face in their career so far." Trying to continue at the highest level requires going beyond physical and mental limits as fan expectations fans are growing.
In the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, Gabriel Boschilia scored in second-half stoppage time to hand Internacional a 4-3 home win over Colombia's America de Cali.