Scotland manager Alex McLeish was furious with Spanish referee Manuel Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez after the 2-1 defeat by Italy at Hampden.
Scotland disputed the foul that led to Italy's winning goal
Christian Panucci's stoppage-time winner came from a free-kick that he felt ought to have gone Scotland's way.
"The set-piece that led to their second goal was an unbelievable decision," said McLeish.
"Alan Hutton was in control of the ball and their guy battered him. How can that be a free-kick to Italy?"
The defeat ended Scotland's hopes of qualification for the Euro 2008 finals and sent Italy and France through to Austria and Switzerland.
We think we deserve to be at a major championships and we'll prove it in the forthcoming World Cup campaign
Scotland striker James McFadden
"We didn't deserve that, to lose that game," said McLeish.
"We battered them in the second half and they were dead men walking at the end.
"But they got most 50-50s and we expected that."
McLeish stressed that his players should be proud of their efforts both at Hampden Park and throughout their campaign.
"I'm proud of these players," he added after a game when Scotland bounced back after going behind within two minutes.
Alex McLeish was emotional after Scotland suffered defeat
"That first goal was so unlike us. It took the power away from us for a spell.
"We were making chances, we were imaginative, but unfortunately it didn't fall for us.
"It was a terrific effort and you could see the fans' appreciation after the game.
"The Italians know they were a lucky team to leave Hampden Park with a victory.
"We've got to take heart from this and confidence."
Scotland forward James McFadden promised that his side would avenge the defeat.
"I'm bitterly disappointed," he said. "We think we deserve to be at a major championships and we'll prove it in the forthcoming World Cup campaign.
And McFadden blamed the referee for the defeat.
"After all the hard work, we've been absolutely robbed by the referee," he said.
"I think he was shocking. Coming from the Ukraine game, people didn't want us to qualify and they've got what they wanted."