But they believe they can beat second-ranked Germany tomorrow (6pm SA time) and qualify for the knockout stage.
South Africa can finish among the four best third-placed teams and reach the last 16 if they beat Germany by a healthy margin and Spain thump China in the other Group B match.
Banyana’s maiden World Cup started with a 3-1 loss to Spain, followed by a 1-0 defeat to China.
But this group is not giving up.
“Germany is a big team; they are ranked pretty high and they are one of the top teams in the world,” Banyana goalkeeper Kaylin Swart said. “It’s going to be a difficult task for us but we’ve prepared well so far.
“Whatever team the coach puts forward, the players chosen will give their all. It’s not going to be an easy game, but we are not going to give it away either.”
In 2010, Swart and Jermaine Seoposenwe were part of Bantwana’s Under-17 World Cup squad in Trinidad and Tobago. Swart conceded 17 goals in three matches, including a 10-1 demolition by Germany.
Coach Desiree Ellis will probably have a full squad against Germany in Montpellier. Against China, Banyana missed goalkeeper Andile Dlamini due to injury, while left back Nothando Vilakazi was suspended.
Ellis is optimistic: “We can only get better and there’s a lot of room for improvement,” she said. “The main challenge is obviously taking our chances. One day we’ll start making the most of our chances and then we’ll be where we need to be. It’s a process. This generation has put their best foot forward and they are leaving a legacy.”@MihlaliBaleka