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Malaysia beat Laos to advance to men’s team regu final

Malaysia’s men’s team regu squad celebrate after their 2-0 win against Laos in their Asian Games semifinal. (Sepaktakraw Association of Malaysia/Facebook pic)

HANGZHOU: The national men’s team regu squad secured at least an Asian Games silver medal by defeating Laos 2-0 in today’s semifinal at the Jinhua Sports Centre Gymnasium.

In today’s match, the first regu of Noraizat Nordin, Farhan Adam, and Haziq Hairul Nizam, faced fierce resistance from their opponents before winning 21-17, 21-19 in 53 minutes.

The momentum continued with the trio of Azlan Alias, Amirul Zazwan Amir, and Syahir Rosdi, who did not face any problems in trouncing the second Laos trio 21-14, 21-14 and sealing Malaysia’s spot in the final.

However, national coach Ahmad Jais Baharun saw many weaknesses that needed to be improved ahead of the final against defending champions Thailand on Friday.

“For today’s match, personally, I think the first regu needs to act more aggressive, there is a need to vary the attacks. The defence should also be further fortified,” he said after the match.

Thailand advanced to the final after beating South Korea 2-0 in the other semifinal.

Both semifinal losers, South Korea and Laos will share the bronze.

The clash between Malaysia and Thailand is a repeat of their encounter at the 2018 edition in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia, which saw the national squad settling for the silver.