Goalkeeper David Marshall believes Scotland will be stronger for their Euro 2020 experience.
Scotland needed to beat Croatia to create history by making it through to the knockout stages of a major tournament for the first time but were left disappointed after a 3-1 defeat.
They went into the break on level terms after midfielder Callum McGregor had cancelled out Nikola Vlasic’s opener.
But a stunning strike from Luka Modric and an Ivan Perisic header ensured the Croats progressed at Scotland’s expense.
Marshall told BBC Scotland: “That is probably the lowest you can feel.
“The positivity was there after the England performance.
“The result of the first game left us a bit flat but the England game gave us positivity and we started the game well tonight.
“We had good chances and Callum’s goal late in the first half galvanised you so it is disappointing.
“Fair play to Croatia, they handled the second half really well.
“It comes down to fine margins but you can’t argue with the result.”
But Marshall hopes the experience of competing in a major tournament for the first time in 23 years will give the national team added motivation to reach the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
They currently sit second in Group F after three games ahead of facing group leaders Denmark in September.
Derby goalkeeper Marshall said: “It is going to be hard to think about that tonight but the manager was already saying in there that this is the start of something.
“In such a short space of time we will be meeting up again for a real big chance in our group to qualify for the World Cup.
“There will be disappointment for a few weeks for the lads until probably the start of the club football again.
“We will go again and hopefully qualify for the World Cup.
“The lads who came in such as Billy Gilmour and Nathan Patterson added to the group.
“This will help us as a group and we’re going to get better.
“I know it is a tough one to take but it is also a learning opportunity.”