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The Matildas have been knocked out of the FIFA Women's World Cup, after losing to Norway.

— With AAP.

The Matildas’ World Cup dream is over after a barnstorming and heartbreaking 1-1 (4-1) penalty shootout loss to Norway in their round of 16 clash.

After Isabell Herlovssen’s opener, Elise Kellond-Knight drew Australia level with a stunning 83rd minute equaliser direct from a corner.

The Matildas clung on for spot kicks despite Alanna Kennedy’s 104th-minute dismissal but Sam Kerr and Emily Gielnik botched their penalties for Australia’s worst World Cup result in 16 years.

The cost of raising a sports prodigy… it’s not just taking them to Saturday soccer practice every week. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

Caroline Graham Hansen, Guro Reiten, Maren Mjelde and Ingrid Syrstad Engen scored their spot kicks, with Steph Catley the sole Australian to net her effort.

While Australia took the threat of Norway, ranked six places below them at world No.12, it was never supposed to end this way.

After Kerr went close within the opening 30 seconds of the match, Norway struck a fine opener on 31 minutes when they exposed Australia’s weakness in transition.

Karina Saevik’s curling pass was just out of Steph Catley’s reach, allowing Herlovsen to race onto the ball and finish expertly past Williams at the near post.

The Matildas thought they had a lifeline as half-time loomed, when Maria Thorisdottir leant in to cushion Kerr’s bouncing cross, with referee Reim Hussein assessing it as brushing the defender’s arms and awarding a penalty.

Kerr had the ball on the spot, only for the decision to be reversed after a lengthy video assistant review.

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The Matildas fashioned a procession of chances, with Hayley Raso, Tameka Yallop and Kennedy all missing the target.

On 59 minutes, Kerr had the ball in the net only for it to be struck out, correctly, for offside.

Still Australia pushed and their equaliser finally arrived from the most unlikely of sources in the most unlikely position.

Kellond-Knight, who had just one goal in 108 appearances before kickoff, struck a low curling corner which nestled into the net after somehow evading a throng of players.

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The goal also denied 16-year-old Mary Fowler a debut World Cup outing, just as she was preparing to come on.

Norway were giving as good as they got and in stoppage time they spectacularly went close.

Hansen thought she’d avoided extra-time when her curler beat the outstretched Williams but the ball bounced clear by just centimetres off the inside of the post.

The full-time whistle brought relief to everyone at the Allianz Riviera but there was no end to the chaos on the resumption of play.

Kerr botched a one-on-one chance before Vilde Boa Rise drew a fine one-handed save from Williams.

The lion-hearted goalkeeper, who needed treatment after a tumble in the box, made another superb save on 100 minutes to deny Hansen.

matildas vs brazil world cup
Image: Getty.

After Kennedy's dismissal, Risa then struck the crossbar from more than 30 metres, attempting to lob Williams from long range.

Chances rained for Norway, with senior players Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond and Ellie Carpenter joining Kennedy off the pitch as time drew closer.

Alas for Australia, they fell victim in the dreaded shootout, the same manner of exit that brought their departure from the 2016 Olympics.

Did you watch the Matildas play in the World Cup? Tell us in a comment below.

Tags: australian-news , football , matildas , news-stories , soccer , sports , world-cup
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