Great Britain's men delivered on their promise to attack and entertain but failed in their bid to reach a first Olympic hockey final since the gold medal winners of 1988, as they went down 9-2 against Holland.
The scoreline hugely flattered the world number threes as goals began to rain in after the break but the hosts flatly refused to give up their dream trailing 4-1 at the interval.
Team GB now face Australia in Saturday's bronze medal play-off. Holland will meet defending champions Germany in the final.
Ashley Jackson and Rob Moore scored GB's goals, with the latter sliding in six minutes from the end to highlight the determination not to give up.
Holland lost midfielder Klaas Vermeulen to a shoulder injury early on following a collision with Glenn Kirkham but that was a rare moment of physicality as the flow of hockey soon took over.
Considering how open the game was it was surprising the first three goals came from penalty corners. Roderick Weusthof powered in one flick high, Ashley Jackson responded with a low effort of his own before Weusthof added his second from the breakdown at another set-piece.
There appeared to be no lack of confidence from the hosts, epitomised when Barry Middleton tried an outrageous deflection over goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann with his back to goal from Matt Daly's pass.
Even when a Mink van der Weerden corner crept under James Fair's right hand there was no let up, although the Cannock goalkeeper was forced into two good saves from Teun de Nooijer and Floris Evers.
That ambition bordered on over-confidence and when players were caught upfield Holland launched a swift multi-pass counter-attack which resulted in Billy Bakker converting from close range. After the break there was an early penalty corner chance for Jackson but as the home side pushed further forward Holland just picked them off almost at will.
Bakker scored twice to complete his hat-trick, while veteran de Noiijer, on his penultimate international appearance after a 16-year career, Evers and Weusthof were also on target. Surbiton forward Moore slid in a late consolation to give the appreciative home crowd something of their own to cheer.