Hosts France produced a superb performance to defy the seedings and beat Hong Kong to top their pool on day three of the World Squash Federation (WSF) Women's World Team Squash Championship in Paris.
In a tie taking place on the all-glass showcourt at Palais Des Sports Robert Charpentier in Issy-les-Moulineaux, the fifth seeded home team fell behind against their fourth ranked opponents in the Pool D decider after Joey Chan defeated Coline Aumard in three straight games.
Cheered on by the excited and partisan crowd, France then drew level when top string Camille Serme beat Annie Au 3-1 in a clash lasting 51 minutes.
Laura Pomportes took a two-game lead against Liu Tsz-Ling in the decider before losing the third.
When the pair met at the World Team Championships two years ago in Canada, Liu recovered from two sets down to take a decisive victory.
Fears were growing that history might repeat itself, only for Pomportes to did deep to reassert her authority and win in four.
"Laura and I had already spoken about that match two years ago and she was mentally prepared," said French coach Philippe Signoret,
"It's good to win the pool - but the job is not finished yet, we still have a lot of work to do."
France now face Australia in the quarter-finals after the Oceania team won 2-1 over The Netherlands in Pool C.
The match was notable for sisters Rachael and Natalie Grinham playing for opposing sides - although they did not ultimately meet directly and neither was able to win.
Rachael lost to Milou van der Heijden 3-1 in the opening tie.
Donna Urquhart drew Australia level by beating Natalie, who became a Dutch citizen in 2008, 3-0 in 21 minutes.
Tamika Saxby then sealed the Australian victory by overcoming Milja Dorenbos, 3-0.
Top seeds Egypt ensured the top spot in Pool A with a 3-0 win over Mexico.
New Zealand secured second place by beating India 2-1.
Defending champions England beat Wales 2-1 to top Pool B while United States finished second after a 2-1 win over Canada.
Malaysia also progressed from Pool C after defeating Austria 3-0.
They will now face Hong Kong in the quarter-finals, while Egypt will be up against the US and New Zealand will have the tough task of taking on England.