KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia lived up to expectations by cruising into the quarterfinals of the 2024 Sepaktakraw World Cup in style after convincingly beating Brunei 2-0 in their final Group A doubles match at the Titiwangsa Stadium, yesterday night.

The Malaysian team represented by Aidil Aiman Azwawi, Muhammad Noraizat Mohd Nordin and Baihakki A’ripin cruised to a 15-9, 15-11 win over Brunei who fielded Muhammad Azri Awang Abdul Harith, Mohamad Efiezul Haqim Murah and Muhamad Basyiruddin Kamis.

In yesterday night’s encounter, Aidil Aiman, despite still recovering from gastritis pain, insisted on playing and throughout the match he showed a high level of determination, confidence and skill to register the win.

The win saw Malaysia under the tutelage of Ahmad Jais Baharun, emerge as the Group A winner while Brunei, coached by former National coach Abd Talib Ahmad, had to be satisfied with the runner-up spot.

In the quarterfinals today, Malaysia will face dark horses and Group D runner-up South Korea while Brunei face world sepaktakraw powerhouses Thailand who emerged as Group D winners.

“In the quarterfinals, our target is to win. Once we enter the court, nothing else matters but a win. Our focus will be on defence and service,” said Muhammad Noraizat.

Speaking of Aidil Aiman’s condition, he said his team mate had suffered pain in the stomach, probably due to gastritis but he took medication and painkiller and insisted on playing.

“He is a fighter and wants to be a part of the team. He said his pain was less today and therefore could play,” he said adding that the situation or condition would not affect or change Malaysia’s focus when facing South Korea.

Ahmad Jais added that there was still room for improvement when facing South Korea.

“In terms of performance, the team must build their confidence in ball control, service and communication inside the court between players. Unlike in the regu, in doubles competition, it is difficult to win points from service,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vietnam emerged as Group B winners after beating India 2-1 (17-16, 15-17, 17-15) in their final group match and by doing so, avoided Myanmar who have shown tremendous quality in their matches.

Vietnam will face Group C runner-up Indonesia while Myanmar take on Group C runner-up India.