Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai gave it an almighty effort in their Singapore Open semi-finals showdown against top seeded Thais Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai but fell at the final hurdle 17-21, 21-16, 20-22.

At the end, Lai’s two unforced errors in deuce of the deciding game proved the difference as the defending champions moved into Sunday’s mixed doubles final after 65 minutes of topsy turvy battle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

Goh-Lai got off to a good start against with a 11-10 slim lead in the opening game, but it started to go awry for them after that as the Thais quickly organised themselves to seize the initiative and take the lead.

The Malaysians did not buckle despite the setback as they recovered admirably in the second game to hold a decent leads at 8-4 and 15-11.

Both times Puavaranukroh-Taerattanachai battled back to within a point, but Goh-Lai kept their lead intact and stayed aggressive after they crossed the 16-point mark to power past their opponents 21-16.

It went to a decider and a predictably tight affair, but Goh-Lai kept their noses in front with savvy play to hold a 15-11 advantage.

But the Thais stormed back to take the lead at match point, and it was up to Goh-Lai to twice save it and head to deuce.

Ultimately they could not convert and miss out on replicating their title success on the same ground in 2018.

Lai thanked the Malaysians who were in full voice of the pair throughout.

“It is a regret for me to not reach this podium this time, I think we’ve given our best today. We got nervous during the match point, and especially on my part I didn’t do well enough to hold the game today,” she said.

Their loss also meant there would be no Malaysians in yet another BWF World Tour event, with the semi-finals again proving the furthest progression in the last three tournaments.

At the recent Malaysia Open and Malaysia Masters, there were two local pairs in the last four of both events, but neither of them could make it count and crashed out.

P.V.Sindhu, meanwhile, made it to the women’s singles final after she overcame Japanese Saena Kawakami 21-15, 21-7.