The Indian hockey team went down fighting 3-4 to South Africa [ Images ] in its last friendly match ahead of the Tri-Nation tournament at La Albericia, Spain, on Wednesday.
India's [ Images ] goal-scorers were Danish Mujtaba, Sandeep Singh and SK Uthappa while Clinton Panther, Thoton McDade, Llyod Norris-Jones and Justin Reid Ross were on target for South Africa.
Clinton Panther put South Africa ahead in the ninth minute, scoring a field goal.
Thoton McDade increased the lead in the 17th minute, before India reduced the margin four minutes later with a field goal scored by forward Danish Mujtaba.
Going into the second half, India created good moves, penetrating the circle, and drew abreast (2-2) in the 47th minute from a penalty-corner, converted by Sandeep Singh.
However, three minutes later, Llyod Norris-Jones regained the lead for South Africa.
India fought back and equalized seven minutes later through a field goal by SK Uthappa.
Justin Reid gave South Africa the winning goal in the 61st minute from a penalty-corner.
In the run-up to the Tri-Nation tournament, India drew 3-3 with Spain, before losing the second Test 1-2 and beat South Africa 6-5 in the first friendly.
The Indian teams plays Great Britain on Saturday in the inaugural match of tri-series at Santander, Spain.