World League hockey: England lose to Australia in semis
England slumped to a 3-0 semi-final defeat against Australia in the World League Final in Tucuman, Argentina.
Despite a string of saves by goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, England were unable to halt Australia's march into the final.
Jodie Schulz opened the scoring after the video referee rejected England's claims that her shot had deflected off another Australian player.
Further goals from Georgie Parker and Karrie McMahon wrapped up Australia's comfortable win in the second half.
England's World League progress
- 30 November: England 6-2 Korea
- 1 December: England 2-3 Netherlands
- 3 December: England 2-1 Germany
- Thursday, 5 December: Quarter-finals - England 1-0 China
- Saturday, 7 December: Semi-finals - England 0 Australia 3
- Sunday, 8 December: 3rd/4th play-off - Argentina v England (2130 GMT)
"We looked physically very tired and ended up chasing the game for most of the match," said England coach Jason Lee.
"I was really pleased that we kept at Australia and never gave up, but they were the better side tonight, as they have been all year, and they deserved the win."
England went into the semi-final with high hopes of victory after an impressive performance in their quarter-final victory over China.
But Australia dominated the match, although their opener three minutes before the interval had a hint of controversy about it.
England disputed Schulz's goal from a penalty corner and immediately called for a video review after the ball appeared to deflect in off the thigh of Teneal Attard, but the goal was allowed to stand.
Two goals in the first six minutes of the second half settled the outcome with Parker converting a goalmouth scramble and McMahon adding another from a penalty corner.
England struggled to create many chances from open play throughout the game, although Alex Danson forced a stunning save from Australian goalkeeper Ashlee Wells in the latter stages.
They now face a third-place play-off with Argentina on Sunday, while Australia progress to the final against the Netherlands.
Hosts Argentina led their semi-final only for Roos Droost to make it 2-2, and it was the legendary Luciana Aymar - who was named FIH Player of the Year for the eighth time immediately after the match - who made the decisive miss as the Dutch won the shoot-out 3-2.