The defeat means that Oleksandr Petrakov's side progress to the play-off final against Wales on Sunday, where a spot in the Qatar 2022 group stage awaits the winners alongside England, Iran and the USA in Group B.
For Scotland, it means the wait to qualify for the World Cup finals will be extended to at least 28 years, with the next chance not coming around until 2026 when the tournament will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Wales’ wait to reach the World Cup stretches back even further, to 1958 when the finals were staged in Sweden, and they will hope to succeed where Scotland failed against the Ukrainians at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday.
The Tartan Army will now be left to watch that match and wonder what might have been.
For Steve Clarke’s side attention turns to the remaining three Nations League fixtures in the current international window, which will all be shown live on Premier Sports, the new broadcaster for Scotland matches until June 2024.
First up is a return to Hampden next Wednesday, June 8, for the opening Group B1 fixture against Armenia, scheduled to kick-off at 7.45pm.
Scotland then travel to Dublin for a match against Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland on Saturday, June 11 for a match that kicks off at 5pm.
The gruelling end of season fixture list is then completed with a trip to Yerevan to face Armenia on Tuesday, June 14, kick-off 5pm.