Indian women shuttlers advanced to the Badminton Asia Team Championship quarter-finals despite a 1-4 loss to Japan in which P V Sindhu notched the country's only win Alor Setar, Malaysia, on Thursday.
Sindhu extended her domination over world No 2 Akane Yamaguchi with a straight-game win. Despite the loss, India qualified for the quarter-final in both the women's and men's competition.
The Indian women finished second in Group W with one win and one loss ahead of Hong Kong China but behind Japan. The Sindhu-led squad had defeated Hong Kong China 3-2 in its opening group tie.
With a rampaging 5-0 wins over lower-ranked Philippines and Maldives, the Indian men's team too has qualified for the quarter-finals from Group D.
The Indian men will now be up against mighty Indonesia in their last Group D tie later in the day.
Taking the court first, Olympic silver-medallist Sindhu dished out a fine attacking performance to beat Yamaguchi 21-19, 21-15 in 36 minutes.
By virtue of this win, world No.4 Sindhu now enjoys a 5-3 head-to-head record against Yamaguchi.
However, Sindhu did not get enough support from her team-mates as Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli was no match for world No 13 Sayaka Sato, losing the second singles 12-21, 10-21 to help Japan draw level.
Doubles specialist Ashwini Ponnappa was then tamed 14-21, 12-21 by world No.16 Aya Ohori in the third singles match as Japan took a 2-1 lead.
It was then left to the doubles specialists to bring India back into the tie but both the Indian pairs went down after a good fight.
The onus was on Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant to draw parity for India but they lost 17-21, 17-21 against Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto in the first doubles match to hand Japan an unassailable 3-1 lead.
The script turned out to be the same for India in the last inconsequential match of the tie as Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost 18-21, 18-21 to Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi.