The Proteas opened their Women’s Hockey World Cup campaign with a 3-1 defeat to a relentless German team in London on Saturday.
The margin could have been much bigger had it not been for some superb keeping by Phumelela Mbande between the sticks.
The South Africans went into the second quarter one goal down and knowing full well it could have been much worse if it was not for the shot-stopper.
They managed to keep the Germans out in the second chukka after Viktoria Huse opened their account just before the end of the first period.
The Germans doubled their score shortly after the half-time break courtesy of a field goal by Charlotte Stapenhorst in the 32nd minute.
The South Africans were static in defence in midfield allowing the Germans easy access and a strong point of attack.
They pulled one back when a penalty corner went their way with Lisa-Marie Deetlefs landing the ball in the back of the box on the 40-minute mark to make it 2-1.
Hopes of a fightback and causing an upset were dashed in the 54th minute when Huse planted the knockout blow thanks to a penalty stroke.
South Africa will next face Spain, who are ranked three places ahead of them, on Thursday and Argentina two days later.