Scotland Under-21 boss Scot Gemmill praised stand-in striker Glenn Middleton for shrugging off his San Marino sitter to bury the minnows in Paisley.
The Scots got their Euro 2021 qualifying campaign off to a winning start as they claimed a 2-0 victory.
Visiting defender Alessandro Tosi put through his own net to give Gemmill's side the lead after 21 minutes.
Middleton should have doubled their advantage moments later but skewed wide from just six yards out.
However, the Rangers winger - currently on loan at Hibernian - refused to let his head go down after that miss and quickly pounced on a loose ball to put the Group 4 clash to bed.
"I know Glenn can play through the middle having worked with him before," said Gemmill. "Out of possession he will run all day and I wanted to put their goalie under pressure, with everybody up alongside him and I thought he did that well.
"I know he's not happy that he didn't score the chance just before his goal but he has got that goal hunger and is desperate to score.
"Yeah he missed one chance but it's not going to stop him trying to take others.
"It would have been great to score more goals but in terms of a team performance I thought it was strong."
Middleton started up front in the absence of injured Everton striker Fraser Hornby, who picked up a knock last week after joining up with Belgian outfit KV Kortrijk on loan.
But Gemmill hopes the 19-year-old will be available for Tuesday's trip to Croatia, when he expects his side to face a tougher task than they did against San Marino.
He said: "It's a case of seeing what happens over the next couple of days. But he trained yesterday so there's a real chance he could play on Tuesday.
"Are the Croats the toughest game we'll face in the group? Well Greece are a good team and so are the Czech Republic.
"But the rankings don't lie so a pot one team away from home will be a really tough game - but a really tough game for them as well."