Daren helps Malaysia to semi-finals

Liew Daren helped a struggling Malaysia book their place in the Axiata Cup semi-finals with a 18-21, 21-15, 21-19 victory over Singapore's Loh Kean Yew.

It took Daren 54 minutes to help his side scrape a 2-2 draw and a spot in the last four. It was a tough match when Daren let a match point go at 20-16, and allowed Kean Yew to take the next three points before sealing the win.

Daren said: "At that moment, I told myself I must seal the victory and avoid being dragged into deuce and I did it.

"It was a big relief, I didn't play well throughout the match and could have lost. It was a massive point. My point in the men's singles was important for the team. Had I lost, we could be 2-0 down as they are stronger in the women's singles.

"If that happens, then our men's doubles will be under pressure to perform. And with the Singaporeans have nothing to lose as they are already out of contention, they can make the life difficult for us."

Women's singles player Tee Jing Yi was defeated 8-21, 11-21 by Liang Xiaou Yu before Daren's win.

Axiata Cup hosts Indonesia topped the standings with 24 points, followed by All-Star Asia with 19 points, then Thailand in third with 19 points and finally Malaysia in with 17 points. All-Star Europe finished fifth  with 14 points, Vietnam sixth with nine points, Singapore seventh with seven points and Philippines last with just three points.

The draw for the semi-finals will take place on Friday 5 December and the semi-finals will be played at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium on 6 and 7 December.

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