Matildas 'never gave up': Milicic

The World Cup dream is over for Australia but Ante Milicic is proud of the character his side displayed in their Round of 16 defeat to Norway on Sunday morning (AEST).

The Matildas were defeated 4-1 on penalties – their first ever shootout on a World Cup stage – by the World No. 12-ranked Norwegians at Nice’s Stade Allianz Riviera.

Australia battled valiantly throughout the contest, but especially after defender Alanna Kennedy was dismissed in the first half of extra time, becoming the first Australian to be sent off at the Women’s World Cup since Alicia Ferguson against China in the 1999 edition.

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However, it just wasn’t to be for Milicic’s side as Sam Kerr and Emily Gielnik missed their spot-kicks, and Norway booked their ticket to the Quarter-finals.

“I’m proud of the girls - they never gave up, they kept on fighting,” Milicic said.

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“They really did things the hard way and in the end, we couldn’t climb the final hurdle.

“Both teams had their chances and once we lost a player it became difficult.

“I think it was a pretty even game but I’m disappointed with the result.”

'We couldn't climb that final hurdle', says Milicic