The South Africans received hockey lessons in their first two matches of the global showpiece, losing 3-1 to Germany and suffering a massive 7-1 defeat to Spain.
The Spanish were embarrassed in their match against Argentina, courtesy of a 6-2 annihilation which suggested another runaway defeat for the Proteas.
Unfortunately for the Proteas, the draw meant nothing for their standing in what is considered to be the SuperGroup after finishing at the bottom of the pile and signalling their early departure from the tournament.
South Africa looked set to snatch one of their biggest scalps after going 1-0 up shortly before the half-time break.
Jade Mayne’s shot into the back of the box reverberated through the stadium as the South Africans looked set to slay one of the giants of women’s hockey.
South Africa turned in an inspiring performance as they managed to keep the South Americans out for 46 minutes.
Shot-stopper Phumelela Mbande emerged as a future superstar and was one of the shining lights for the struggling South Africans.
Mbande kept the scoreline respectable against Germany and was equally instrumental in South Africa’s match against Argentina.
Argentina managed to sneak one past Mbande in the 47th minute courtesy of a Maria Granatto goal.
South Africa finished in a creditable ninth place at the previous edition of the tournament which was their best since the 1998 World Cup when they bowed out in seventh position.
The winners of each pool qualify for the quarter-finals with the second and third-placed teams playing in crossover matches for places in the next round.@ockertde