For the Czech Republic, there was no shame in going out swinging against Denmark at Euro 2020.
They had already given us some of the best moments of the tournament so far, eliminated the Netherlands, and gone further than virtually anyone expected.
It's heartbreak for now, but when the dust settles, Jaroslav Silhavy and his team will take huge positives from a tournament which saw them stride forward in the eyes of the world. They are re-established as a feared tournament team, and the future looks very bright indeed.
And one way or another, it's a future set to be built around 18-year-old sensation Adam Hlozek.
The Sparta Prague prodigy didn't quite make the impression many had anticipated at Euro 2020, but the raised eyebrows at his omission from the squad against Denmark just about said it all.
Whether it was an unconfirmed injury or just an oversight from Silhavy, there was a real feeling that the Czechs could have done with his presence on the bench - a feeling that became more potent the longer the game went on.
Hlozek, with 28 Sparta goals already to his name, had appeared as a sub in each of the Czechs' Euro 2020 games to this point. He was one of the go-to guys when they went looking for goals against Croatia and England, and impressed with his energy and direct running in each of those cameo appearances.
But while Silhavy could have done with his ace in the pack against Denmark, we should remember he is just 18 - and that it's a minor miracle he even went to the Euros this summer.
When the time came to pick the squad, Hlozek had exactly two caps to his name, his last coming nearly a year prior. He'd had the domestic season from hell, riddled with injury and isolation periods, but still managed to net 15 goals to crowbar his way into Silhavy's thinking.
He'd been tipped to explode at Euro 2020 and that didn't quite come to pass. But nothing about his involvement will have discouraged his manager, or dissuaded the rampant interest in his signature coming from elsewhere in Europe.
90min revealed earlier this year that West Ham are keen to make the youngster their latest Czech acquisition, while Juventus, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are all keen. News of Liverpool's interest is less substantiated, but is still testament to the impact he has already made despite his tender age.
None of those clubs will have turned their heads away based on what they saw at Euro 2020, even if it was more of a subtle hint at his potential rather than a starring role.
We learned at Euro 2020 that the future looks bright for the Czech Republic. And if this is what they can do with Hlozek reduced to a supporting role, then the rest of Europe has something to fear once he hits full stride on the international stage.