AFC Cup: Al Qadsia 0 Al Shorta 0
The home side missed a series of chances at the Peace and Friendship Stadium and now face a difficult task in trying to get a victory in the away leg on September 24.
Al Qadsia's fortunes may have been different had Al Mutawa not squandered his opportunity from 12 yards in the seventh minute, when he fired straight at Ibrahim Alma.
The forward was guilty of wastefulness once again in the 37th minute when he broke free to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper but dragged his shot wide of goal.
Mohammed Ibrahem's side continued their dominance after half-time, and Khaled Al Qahtani had a powerful header brush the post in the 50th minute.
Still the chances came with Saleh Al Sheikh making a surging run into into the box with just under 20 minutes remaining, but he put his effort wide from close range.
And in the 83rd minute substitute Mohammad Al Fahad had a fierce effort well beaten away by Alma.
The result means Al Qadsia have now gone 18 games in all competitions without defeat.