The Indian hockey team went down fighting 3-4 to South Africa in its last friendly match ahead of the Tri-Nation tournament at La Albericia, Spain, on Wednesday.
India's 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 four matches helped the Indian players adjust to the blue turf that will be used at the London Olympics.
The Indian teams plays Great Britain on Saturday in the inaugural match of tri-series at Santander, Spain.