Dutch end Hockeyroos World Cup hopes
THE Hockeyroos have bowed out of the World Cup after losing to the world No.1 Netherlands team 3-1 on penalties after their semi-final ended 1-1 at full-time.
Lidewij Welten, who helped set up the first Dutch goal, scored the winning penalty to send the Netherlands through to the final against Ireland.
Frederique Matla and Xan de Waard also scored against Australia in the shootout, but the only Hockeyroo on target was Kristina Bales.
It's a bitter result for Australia, who equalised through a Georgina Morgan strike just seven minutes before the final whistle after being a goal down for most of the match.
"We were playing the best in the world, we knew it was a challenge and I thought we took it up to them," Australia coach Paul Gaudoin said.
"It wasn't always pretty. We've got plenty to work on but I think there's some belief that we can do some things in the next few years."
Australia started strongly with Jodie Kenny firing into the crossbar from a penalty corner in the second minute, but the Dutch responded swiftly, with Caia van Maasakker's drag flick forcing Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch into a solid save.
Kelly Jonker then put the Netherlands in front on the 22 minute mark after solid build up play from Welten.
Despite waves of Dutch attacks in the second and third quarters, Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch kept her team in contention with some excellent stops. Morgan's late strike then raised hopes that the Hockeyroos could again prevail in a shootout, like they did in the quarter-final against Argentina three days earlier.
Despite Lynch heroically saving penalty attempts from Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel and Margot van Geffen, the inability of either Brooke Peris, Kaitlin Nobbs and Karri McMahon to hit the target sent Australia crashing out.
The Dutch will play surprise package Ireland in the final, while the Hockeyroos will face Spain in the third-place play-off.