Kookaburras lose heart-breaking World Cup semi-final shootout

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The Kookaburras have missed their shot at an historic third straight World Cup title after losing a heartbreaking semi-final to Netherlands by 4-3 in a shootout.

After scores were locked 2-2 at regular time, the shootout went to sudden death after both teams only converted three of their opening five shots in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar on Saturday night.

Finalists: The Netherlands' Jeroen Hertzberger celebrates after scoring off a shoot-out.

Finalists: The Netherlands’ Jeroen Hertzberger celebrates after scoring off a shoot-out.Credit:AP

And while both sides traded a fourth goal, Dutch goalkeeper Pirman Blaak swept away Daniel Beale’s look on goal to seal their path to a final against Belgium.

It was a cruel defeat for the world’s No.1 team, who appeared to have lost in regular time when Eddie Ockenden’s last-gasp shot was deflected with 30 seconds to go.

Ockenden was involved twice in the build-up, bringing down a lofted ball and passing wide before receiving it back and forcing a shootout in India.

The Dutch will now face Belgium in the final after the Belgians emphatically dashed England’s dream of reaching a first men’s World Cup final in 32 years in a 6-0 thrashing.

AAP

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