Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says that his side did all that they could after they went down 2-1 to Ethiopia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
Bafana went into the game in Addis Ababa needing at least a draw to keep their hopes of progressing alive, but a freak own goal from Bernard Parker allowed the hosts to move clear at the top with one game to go.
Igesund admitted that they were extremely disappointed, but believes that the task of recovering from such a terrible start to qualifying may have been just a bit too much.
"First of all I need to congratulate Ethiopia. It was a tough game out here and the crowd was magnificent," said the Bafana tactician.
"Having said that, we couldn't do more than what we had done. We took the game to them in all the departments. I think were unlucky. In the first-half we had one or two good chances and then a ball comes in and Bernard Parker scores and accidental, miracle (own) goal.
"I can't take anything away from the players. Anybody watching the game will know that South Africa played with their hearts and gave everything they had. We went for it, we tried to get the equaliser but at the end of the day Ethiopia won the game.
"Obviously we are disappointed but maybe it was a hurdle just too high for us.
"They worked, we have to be proud of the boys. There has to be a winner and it was them today. Nothing went wrong with us, we gave everything, but it wasn't our day unfortunately."