Scottish hopes for a medal at Ibrox were brutally snuffed out, as they lost in the rugby sevens quarter-finals.
Another 45,000-strong turned out at the home of football giants Rangers for the second day of action - with the loudest cheer reserved for Scotland as they took on South Africa.
But, despite putting up a brave fight, the Glasgow 2014 hosts joined England and Wales in crashing out of the tournament after slumping to a 35-12 defeat.
Scotland had pushed world champions and four-time Commonwealth champions New Zealand close in Saturday's group-stage meeting but failed to replicate that intensity as they fell three tries behind the Springboks early on.
"We're massively disappointed," Scotland coach Stevie Gemmell said. "We made far too many errors against a quality team.
"We didn't learn the lesson from the first half against New Zealand yesterday and the same things happened to us again.
"If you give one of the best teams in the world a 20-point start you will end up with that outcome.
"But I don't think there is a massive gulf between us and the southern-hemisphere teams. We showed against New Zealand what we can do. But we do need to work hard to close the gap further."
The Scots found themselves 21-0 down as Cornal Hendricks, Branco du Preez and Seabelo Sentala all crossed over.
But Mark Bennett gave his side hope when he pulled a score back just before the break.
Expectations rose further when Lee Jones - who scored five tries on the opening day of action - grabbed another at the start of the second half but, when skipper Colin Gregor sent his conversion attempt wide, Scotland's momentum faltered.
That allowed South Africa to step up the pressure and Sentala and Cecil Afrika put the seal on their victory with two further touchdowns.
There was agony too for Wales in the first last-eight clash of the afternoon.
They led Australia 19-7 at half-time but were left sickened after the hooter went when Cam Clark stuck over a last-gasp conversion to seal a 21-19 win and a semi-final slot against the All Blacks.
And England were also punished with a 15-14 defeat by Samoa.
Leading by Marcus Watson's try, they soon found themselves behind as James Rodwell was penalised for his late challenge on Samoa Toloa as he grounded the Pacific Islanders' first score in first-half stoppage time.
He was sin-binned and Samoa allowed one last attack before the break. They made the most of it as Toloa ran in another score, while Lio Lolo added a third try early in the second half.
Dan Norton pulled one back for the English after running on to his own chip but it was not enough to save their medal hopes, with Samoa now progressing to face South Africa.
Rodwell admitted his disappointment but felt his yellow card was harsh.
"It was just the ref's interpretation," he said. "Their player was taking his time to put the ball down and I made a challenge on him. The ref said I took him after the whistle had gone.
"We came here for a medal, so to lose like that is annoying."
Scotland now take on England in the plate semi-finals on Sunday evening, while the Welsh meet Kenya.