Cape Town - Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis lamented her side's lack of goal-scoring as their Achilles heel in a 1-0 defeat to China on Thursday.
South Africa suffered their second loss of the tournament in their second Group B match of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
Li Ying scored the solitary goal of the match in the 40th minute to hand the Asian side a valuable win.
Germany top the group with six points after two victories, followed by Spain and China on three points each while South Africa sit at the foot of the table with zero points.
Banyana Banyana will face the Germans in Montpellier on Monday, June 17, with Spain and China going toe to toe in the other group B clash.
While happy with the performance of her charges, Ellis was gutted at back-to-back losses in their maiden tournament.
"Very disappointed with the result but we knew it would be a battle," Ellis said. "We failed to take our chances and maybe lacked a bit of composure when in good areas.
"We lacked that know-how of seeing a team-mate in a better goal-scoring position and picking them out to capitalise when in front of goal.
"As a whole, though I've got to take my hat off to the whole team to the incredible effort they put in and putting their bodies on the line today. Yes we know it was a battle and no matter the result we wanted to make sure that China knew they were in a game today."
Banyana next face Germany in their final Group B clash on Monday.
Kick-off is at 18:00.