Malaysia's Hanafiah Dolah (R) in action against Brunei's Nor Alimin Sunggoh (No 5) in the semi-finals of the ISTAF Super Series. Bernama
Korea were just too much for the national sepak takraw team.
Brunei were denied a podium finish at the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series 2013/2014 Finals after losing 3-0 (15-5, 15-8, 15-10) to Korea in the third-place playoff yesterday.
Despite the setback, it is the Sultanate's best finish at the competition having moved out of the quarter-finals for the first time in four tries.
Japar Wali once again started the game with Shukri Jaineh in the striker position and left Ismail Ang on the bench at the Titiwangsa Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
Brunei served first and Korea made no mistake to claim all three points despite good serves by Nur Alimin Sunggoh.
Shukri was putting up some good spikes but it was Korea that ran away with an 11-4 lead before Japar called a timeout.
Korea returned to the court with an ace courtesy of Park Hyeong Geum before closing out the opening set 15-5.
Park was only on top of his game and provided three service winners in the first set as opposed to his counterpart Nur Alimin with three service faults.
Korea began the second set with two service winners. Striker Im An Soo was a handful for Brunei with his powerful spikes putting his team infront 10-5.
Brunei called a timeout and Ismail was given his first action in the matchup.
Korea scored the next two points before Brunei made a small resurgence with three straight. But that was as close as it got with Korea winning the second set 15-8 for a commanding 2-0 lead.
It was a closer affair in the third set with both teams trading points with the score tied at 6-6.
Im took control and notched three spike winners off Brunei's service to take control.
Brunei made a last roll of the die while trailing 11-8 with a timeout. Nur Alimin came out of the break with a service fault, the eighth of the match then.
Korea subbed in tekong Ma Kwang Hee then and made an impact straight with a service winner for match point.
He gifted two points to the Sultanate with consecutive service faults before Korea won the next point to seal off the victory in 38 minutes.