New Zealand half-back Shaun Johnson paid tribute to Scotland after the 18-18 draw between the teams at the Four Nations.
A late Euan Aitken try, and Danny Brough conversion, saw Scotland stunningly hold the Kiwis in Workington on Friday.
The result was a blow to New Zealand's chances of reaching the final, but Johnson hailed his team's opponents.
"We're disappointed, but Scotland played really well tonight," he said.
"We wanted to get the job done, but we knew it was going to be tough in difficult conditions, but a lot of credit to Scotland.
"Every game you play in these tournaments is very tough. We can complain all we want about how we played, but they showed up with the right attitude and competed really hard."
Scotland coach Steve McCormack also lauded his team, even if he was disappointed they were unable to win.
"I'm as proud as anything," he said.
"Not only that never-say-die attitude from our lads but just the manner in which we got that result.
"We're also a bit disappointed that we didn't win. The players were sensational. We've played against the world's best team tonight with a young team."
If England beat Australia in London on Sunday, they will face the Kangaroos in the final.