Graeme Shinnie says his first start for Scotland is something he’ll “never forget”.
The Aberdeen captain won his second cap for Alex McLeish’s national side in the 1-0 loss to Mexico.
That was the second game of the Dark Blues’ South American tour after Shinnie made his debut as a sub in Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Peru in Lima.
The 26-year-old says making his first start for Scotland in the famous Azteca stadium was an unforgettable experience.
He said: “It was a tough atmosphere against a good team in Mexico.
“But it is an experience I will learn from and never forget.
“The stadium and the atmosphere was unbelievable and the game was good, we were playing against some top, top players.
“It was different experiences to learn from and it’s something I’ve enjoyed.
“I’ve enjoyed the whole trip. I enjoyed Peru as well, it was brilliant and something that I’ll definitely learn from.”
The Scots found it tough against the World Cup-bound Mexicans whose side contained the likes of ex-Barcelona and Tottenham player Giovani dos Santos, former Arsenal man Carlos Vela and Barcelona legend Rafael Marquez.
The performance of Shinnie at left-back and Don Scott McKenna skippering the team in just his fourth cap were two positives.
Shinnie added: “We were trying to keep our shape as best we could.
“We knew that they would move and pass the ball about well so when we turned the ball over we were trying to keep it ourselves and get ourselves forward.
“It was tough to do it, but when we did do it, especially second half, we had a good go.
“We’re disappointed, Oli McBurnie has one off the post and we were desperate for it to go in.
“But I think second half we definitely came into it more and got forward a lot more and created a lot more problems.”
Conditions were gruelling with the stadium in Mexico City being 7,200 feet above sea level. Shinnie said: “It was tough, at one point in the first half I felt like I was swallowing sand.
“It was good, it’s different experiences and it’s something that I’ll potentially never experience again.”
Scotland boss Alex McLeish has been pleased with the trip to South America overall, despite the losses to both Peru and Mexico.
The Gothenburg Great said: “The trip has been great, the players have been very professional.
“Normally they would be on their holidays. We would love to be going to the World Cup the same as Mexico.
“But we have played a couple of games that can help us build for the future.
“It was a very tough game for us at altitude and in these conditions.
“I think the players that we had out there did the country proud.
“We are trying to get better on the technical side and we have asked the players to look at their game and be brave, to make passes and receive passes.
“It’s a big part of the plan going forward.”
One frustration for McLeish was Scotland’s lack of threat in attack.
He added: “We looked to be more of a threat, to get players forward in the box. I felt that we never had the best of deliveries. When we got into wide areas, we hit the first man a lot when we had good presence in the box.
“You saw when we got a good cross in the second half, McBurnie had a good header, he was unlucky he hit the post. In the first-half, we had crosses potentially for the strength of Callum Paterson but we didn’t quite succeed.
“Both teams made changes, that can upset the rhythm of the game, but both teams did what they could to impress the fans and the coaches.”