Cape Town - Amajita's progress to the knockout round of the Under-20 Soccer World Cup suffered a setback after losing 2-0 against Italy on Wednesday.
The result means the Amajita will nearly certainly go home after their final group game against Uruguay.
Ricarrdo Orsolini scored from the penalty spot for the Italians, to go into halftime with a 1-0 lead and Andrea Favilli sealed the victory in the 57th minute.
Juventus centre-back Filippo Romagna came close to opening the scoring, but his header was cleared off the line after he got on the end of a corner. However, the ball made its way out to Orsolini on the right wing and he was felled in the box with a wild swipe by Wiseman Meyiwa. South Africa are on average the shortest team at the World Cup and it showed as the Italian forward rose magestically to meet the ball.
On Saturday, South Africa take on Uruguay in Incheon, while Italy take on Japan in Cheonan.