World Cup bronze best Hockeyroos can do

The Hockeyroos were beaten by the Netherlands in the Women's World Cup semi-finals

The Hockeyroos will play Spain in the Women's World Cup playoff for third after a penalty shootout loss to the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

Australia could not make it back-to-back penalty shootout wins when they fell 3-1 to the world No.1 ranked Dutch after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time.

Lidewij Welten, who helped set up the first Dutch goal, scored the winning penalty to send the Netherlands through to the final against surprise-packets Ireland.

Frederique Matla and Xan de Waard also scored against Australia in the shootout but the only Hockeyroos player on target was Kristina Bales.

It's a bitter result for world No.5 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 a shot onto the crossbar from a penalty corner in the second minute.

However, 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 22 minutes when she took advantage of the build-up play from Welten.

Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch kept her team in the contest with a number of excellent stops in the second and third quarters.

Morgan's late goal raised hopes that the Hockeyroos could again prevail in a shootout, like they did in the quarter-final against Argentina.

Despite Lynch heroically saving penalty attempts from Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel and Margot van Geffen, the inability of Brooke Peris, Kaitlin Nobbs and Karri McMahon to score sent Australia crashing out.

The Hockeyroos and world No.11 Spain, who were beaten by world No.16 Ireland on penalties in their semi-final, meet on Sunday (11pm AEST) in the battle for bronze.