Scotland’s first 21st-Century sip from the qualification cup was a heady elixir, but also left the nation thirsty for more.
It presented Steve Clarke quite the challenge as he scraped his men off the grass – and the ceilings – of Belgrade and headed into a campaign of potentially similar magnitude.
Clarke is a meticulous and methodical manager. Where his team can gain the tiniest advantage, rest assured he will know of its existence.
The two best Nations League group winners who do not finish inside the top two in their World Cup qualifying group will parachute into the play-offs for Qatar.
And with the League A section winners coming from a list of countries containing France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, England, Italy and Poland, it is unlikely any of them will need that second chance.
That leaves the League B table-toppers battling over places in the lifeboat queue, meaning they must not only focus on winning their own groups, but how their points tally compares to the others.
Scotland could have guaranteed a top-two placing in League B with wins in both of their final two matches.
But, given the enormous effort expended on Thursday, that would plainly have been too much to ask in too short a time of the players chosen in Serbia.
So this looked like a side picked more in hope than expectation, with the concluding fixture in Israel identified as the one more likely.
This defeat will have been factored into Clarke’s battle plan. His tenure has been characterised by bringing his team to the boil at precisely the right moment. Wednesday night is the next such.