A Lee Zii Jia-led Malaysian men’s team pulled off a combative team effort to surge into the Asia Team Championships final to face traditional rivals Indonesia after a clinical 3-0 success over South Korea on Saturday.

Lee was first in line to deliver the first point as the All-England champion fought off the resistance from Jeon Hyeok-Jin to seal a 21-13, 13-21, 15-21 triumph.

After being pushed to the distance, Lee praised his opponent, who was 2094th in the world, as a player to be reckoned with.

“Jeon is definitely a good player, and I never underestimated him coming into this match. When I was coming through the ranks, he was one of the promising shuttlers. As for my game today, I am still struggling to cope with the drift, but thankful for the win,” he said.

With the lead secured, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik took on Kim Hwi Tae-Kim Jaeh-wan with the mission to to make amends for their shock loss to their lowly ranked Japanese opponents on Friday.

They won the first match rather comfortably 21-14, but lost the second 20-22 despite holding three match points initially.

The world number seven pair battled hard to win the decider 21-19, to which Soh celebrated wildly by running to the fans to throw his shirt, almost tripping over himself on his way back to court.

“That celebration was to let out my emotions. I knew our defeat on Friday had let the whole nation down, and it hurt our pride as well,” he said.

Buoyed with the 2-0 lead, it was left to Ng Tze Yong to seal the deal against Kim Joo Wan.

Both shuttlers dished out a cracking contest, with Kim taking the first game 21-19, before Ng stormed back to win the next two 21-16, 21-12.

Malaysia now face Indonesia in a repeat of the 2020 final.

Indonesia, who had sent a young team without all their established stars, twice came from behind to draw level after Singapore had taken the lead through their men’s singles shuttlers Loh Kean Yew and Jason Teh.

Christian Adinata emerged the hero as he beat Joel Koh in the final men’s singles match for the 3-2 win.