Japan-Korea women's final in Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships
It was an energy-sapping second singles match that left both players completely drained Thailand''s Pornpawee Chochuwong beat Korean No 1 Sung Ji-Hyun 18-21, 21-18, 23-21 that lasted a marathon 83 minutes to throw a lifeline to the Thai's.
However, Korea recovered from the setback and in another marathon tie - and this was the second women's doubles that lasted even longer (89 minutes) Kim So Yeong-Kong Hee Yong outlasted Chayanit Chaladchalam-Phittayaporn Chaiwan 20-22, 22-20, 13-21 for Korea's winning point and an unassailable 3-1 in and a place in the women's team final.
Korea's rising star An Se Yeong gave her team a 1-0 lead with a 24-22, 21-17 win over Busanan Ongbamrungphan that went 48 minutes.
Lee Seo Hee-Shin Seung Chan made it 2-0 for the Koreans in the first doubles but was fully stretched in the 12-21, 21-19, 21-11 win in 68 minutes before Pornpawee narrowed the deficit in the second singles.
The Koreans will meet defending champions Japan in Sunday's final after the Japanese strolled past Malaysia 3-0.
All four semi-finalists have qualified on merit to this year's Uber Cup Finals which will be played in the Danish city of Aarhus from May 16-24.
The Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila witnessed some of the best badminton matches played in the Philippines - giving the game a big boost in the country.
Japan's win ended Malaysia's fine run in the Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships. The Japanese had also edged Malaysia 3-2 in a Group W match to top the two-team group.
Yamaguchi avenged her defeat to Soniia Cheah in the group match with straight games 21-17, 21-18 win in 46 minutes for Japan's first point.
Malaysia fielded a scratch pair Lee Meng Yean-Yap Cheng in the first doubles and it came with a heavy price - an 11-21, 4-21 defeat to Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota in 35 minutes for Japan to lead 2-0.
In the second singles, Kisona went out in 13 and 13 to Sayaka Takahashi bringing an end to Malaysia's campaign in Manila.
Japan 3 Malaysia 0
WS1: Akane Yamaguchi beat Soniia Cheah 21-17, 21-18
WD1: Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota beat Lee Meng Yean-Yap Cheng Wen 21-11, 21-4
WS2: Sayaka Takahashi beat S. Kisona 21-13, 21-13
Korea 3 Thailand 1
WS1: An Se Young beat Busanan Ongbamrunphan 24-22, 21-17
WD1: Lee Seo Hee-Shin Seung Chan beat Jongkolphhan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajonjai 12-21, 21-19, 21-11
WS2: Sung Ji Hyun lost to Pornpawee Chochuwong 18-21, 21-18, 23-21
WD2: Kim So Yeong-Kon Hee Yong beat Chayanit Chaladchalam-Phataimas Muenwong Chaiwan 22-20, 20-22, 21-13