England's hopes of a first World Cup final appearance for 28 years were dashed after losing 1-0 to hosts Holland.
Mink van der Weerden's deflected penalty corner five minutes before half-time proved decisive in the last-four encounter in The Hague.
It is the fifth time since being crowned European champions in 2009 that England have lost a semi-final, having previously been denied at the Euros (twice), the Commonwealth Games and World League Final.
Holland dominated in front of their own crowd but were pushed all the way by Bobby Crutchley's side, who played almost the ideal tactical game in frustrating their opponents for long periods.
Once Ashley Jackson had deflected Nick Catlin's pass into goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann after just 17 seconds it was virtually one-way traffic in the first half.
Van der Weerden had Holland's first penalty corner brilliantly stopped on the line by Barry Middleton before Valentin Verga fired wide having robbed Michael Hoare and Seve van Ass's shot was touched on to the crossbar by Dan Fox.
The vital breakthrough came in the 30th minute when Van der Weerden's flick took a slight deflection which sent it past goalkeeper George Pinner's left hand.
After the break Middleton and Pinner both made good saves from another Van der Weerden penalty corner and Rogier Hofman hit a post.
As the half wore on England began to create chances and having exerted some pressure Jackson saw his first penalty corner - which could easily have been a penalty stroke after Middleton was pushed over - charged down.
Pinner was withdrawn for the final three minutes as England tried to take advantage of an extra outfield player but they could not force the equaliser.