England head coach Jakob Hoi described top seeds Chris Adcock and Andy Ellis' display in the men's doubles quarter-finals as "really, really poor".
The pair, ranked 13 in the world, struggled to a 17-21 21-16 21-15 win against Welsh duo Daniel Font and Oliver Gwilt, ranked 165 in the world.
"We were dictating, then one starts making mistakes, the other one falls asleep," said Hoi.
"It's not the best way to reach a semi-final. That's not a way to win medals."
Ellis admitted: "We didn't play well and it is disappointing that we let our level drop but we are through to where we wanted to be."
Font admitted the Welsh duo thought they "were going to get spanked".
He added: "They are the top seeds - and we thought we had them at 14-12 in the third."
In Saturday's semi-finals, the English duo face Malaysia's Tan Wee Kiong and Goh Wei Shem, who defeated Adcock and Ellis in the team final in straight games.
Adcock also has a mixed doubles semi-final against his former partner Imogen Bankier, with whom he won World Championship silver in 2011.
Adcock and wife Gabby, the top seeds, comfortably won their quarter-final to set up a match against Scotland's Bankier and Robert Blair.
"I am sure we can all deal with the situation and have a good game," said Blair in an attempt to defuse any tension ahead of the encounter.
Gabby Adcock, who also reached the last four of the women's doubles with Lauren Smith, said: "There is no rivalry, we just all want to win as much as each other. It is nothing personal."
England's Chris Langridge reached the semi-finals of the mixed event with Heather Olver, and the men's with Peter Mills.
English third seed Rajiv Ouseph beat training partner Kieran Merrilees of Scotland 21-14 21-7 in just 29 minutes to reach the semi-finals, while Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour reached the same stage of the women's competition.