KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s run at the Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast, Australia came to an end on Friday, when they lost 3-1 to Japan in the quarter-finals.
It was the national squad's second consecutive defeat to their Asian counterparts this week, having gone down 3-2 earlier in the final Group 1C tie on Wednesday.
Malaysia, who have yet to clinch the biennial mixed team event, also failed to meet the semi-final target set by the BA of Malaysia (BAM).
Heading into the tie, the team knew that points had to be won in the men's doubles, men's singles and mixed doubles, but that was not the case.
Just like in the group stage, 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong once again failed to get the better of their opponents Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda, losing 21-17, 16-21, 21-11 in the opening match.
Japan then doubled the lead through women's singles Nozomi Okuhara who scored an easy 21-11, 21-9 win over Soniia Cheah.
Former men's singles world No 1 Lee Chong Wei – now No 2 after losing his top ranking spot on Thursday – pulled one back for Malaysia when he saw off Kenta Nishimoto 21-15, 21-13.
Japan, however, sealed the tie through reigning Olympic champions and world No 1 Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi who beat national top women's duo Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei 21-7, 21-14.
Japan will now go on to face top seeds China, who beat India 3-0 in the other quarter-final, in the last four on Saturday.
The other semi-final is between South Korea and Thailand.