A place in history was at stake as the national side attempted to qualify for the knock-out phase of a major tournament for the first time ever.
But it wasn’t to be as Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic combined to score twice in the second half after Callum McGregor had levelled for Scotland with the first goal of the tournament. Croatia had stunned Hampden into silence with an opener through Nikola Vlasic.
Scotland were without Billy Gilmour after the midfielder’s excellent performance at Wembley against England and Steve Clarke was forced into another change in the first half with Grant Hanley injured.
Here is how Scotland players rated in the biggest match the country has faced in decades …
Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today
1. David Marshall - 6
There could be no finger-pointing at the 36-year-old for any of the three goals conceded on a night when he showed bravery and alertness to take a sore one in thwarting Gvardiol just after the interval that led to him requiring treatment for several minutes. 6
Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN
2. Scott McTominay - 6
The intent in deploying the Manchester United midfielder on the right of the three is that he can bring the ball out from the back. There wasn’t much opportunity for him to do that, and the feeling that persisted as a consequence was wishing he was aiding and abetting McGregor in the midfield. 6
Photo: Justin Tallis - Pool
3. Grant Hanley - 5
Injuries played their part in the Norwich City centre-back finding himself out of the Scotland picture. Cruelly, having re-established himself this year, they reared up again at the worst possible moment. He seemed to know right away when dropping to the turf with a knee issue 32 minutes in that it was the end of what had been - even by then - a testing evening. 5
Photo: FRANK AUGSTEIN
4. Kieran Tierney - 6
So aggressive, so forceful in his one-on-ones was the Arsenal man you could almost see any duelling Croatians visibly blanching. Alas, the dominance on the ball enjoyed by the visitors meant he could not link with Robertson in the manner that has become a key feature of Scotland’s play. 6
Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN