Craig Mackail-Smith forgives David Goodwillie for missed chance

Craig Mackail-Smith
Mackail-Smith had a chance to score with Scotland trailing 3-1

Scotland striker Craig Mackail-Smith says David Goodwillie apologised for not presenting him with a simple tap in against Spain in Alicante.

The Blackburn forward shot wildly wide when he could have squared the ball as the Scots exited Euro 2012 after a 3-1 defeat in their final qualifier.

"Sometimes you get a rush of blood to the head and at that moment, you have a shot," Mackail-Smith told BBC Scotland.

"He spoke to me about it afterwards and said he could have squared it."

Scotland failed to make the play-offs after the defeat by Spain, the Czech Republic's 4-1 win over Lithuania making sure Craig Levein's side missed out on finishing runners-up in Group I.

Substitute Goodwillie had already scored from the penalty spot with his first touch of the ball when the Blackburn Rovers striker powered into the Spanish penalty area with the unmarked Mackail-Smith poised in the six-yard area.

"Sometimes you get moments like that in football and it was disappointing for me, because I was only two yards out," said Brighton striker Mackail-Smith, who opened his Scotland account three days earlier in the 1-0 win over Liechtenstein.

"But that's the option he took and that's what happened."

Scotland's next competitive matches will be their opening World Cup qualification fixtures next year - they are in Group A with Belgium, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Wales.

After competing against Spain, Mackail-Smith wants more big games in the build-up to the 2014 finals in Brazil.

David Goodwillie and James Morrison
Goodwillie (left) scored with a penalty but could have set up another goal

"It was fantastic to be playing against the best team in the world and most of the best players in the world," said Mackail-Smith.

"It was a great experience and I want more of that. They're the best in the world and they're the best at keeping the ball away from the opposition."

Mackail-Smith believes that the controversial stoppage-time penalty awarded to the Czechs in the 2-2 draw at Hampden last month was crucial.

"It was disappointing, because everyone wants to be in the play-off spot," he said.

"The decision against the Czech Republic cost us massively, but I think the team has performed well."

Mackail-Smith also said he had every confidence that Levein was the right man to continue to lead Scotland during the process of rebuilding the national side.

"Since I've been involved, he's been fantastic," said Mackail-Smith.

"He's building a young, hungry team with some experienced players.

"Since I've been playing, the quality of the football has increased and I think he's the right man to take us to the World Cup qualifiers and do well there.

"We've got a great chance in the World Cup qualifying campaign.

"I'm proud to pull the shirt on when I'm asked to play.

"I've enjoyed every single minute of it and, when I play for Scotland, I give it my all."

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