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Dublin: 17 °C Wednesday 20 June, 2018

Referee conned by blatant dive as Celtic concede late penalty

Ross County forward Alex Schalk was the man who went down in the box.

THERE WAS CONTROVERSY at the end of Celtic’s Scottish Premiership meeting with Ross County this afternoon.

Leading 2-1 thanks to goals from Kieran Tierney and Patrick Roberts, the Hoops looked like they were on the way to a 30th league victory of the season.

However, the home side were awarded a penalty in the 89th minute. Dutch forward Alex Schalk went down in the box, but replays showed that there was no contact from Hoops defender Erik Sviathchenko.

Celtic dive

Conned by the blatant dive, Referee Don Robertson pointed to the spot and Liam Boyce scored an equaliser.

To make matters worse, Celtic captain Scott Brown was sent off for a bad tackle on Boyce in injury-time.

“It’s a very disappointing end to a game we dominated throughout,” Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers told the BBC.

“We had good control and then the points are taken from us by a horrendous decision. I’ve seen some bad decisions up here but that’s one of the worst.

“Referees have a tough job but I don’t know what he was seeing. The linesman needs to help him or else why are they there?

There’s no way Erik Sviatchenko makes any attempt to get the ball.”

Ross County boss Jim McIntyre added: “Obviously the penalty is the key talking point, followed by Scott Brown’s red card.

“Alex is expecting contact and he’s on his way down when the defender pulls out. It’s not a penalty and I can fully understand Celtic’s anger and disappointment.

“The red card is reckless and that’s probably down to frustration with the referee. It’s not a nice way for the game to end.

“I thought we were better in the second half in terms of laying a glove on Celtic higher up the pitch and we’ve picked up a great point.”

Brendan Rodgers’ side wrapped up the league title two weeks ago and now sit 24 points ahead of second-placed Aberdeen.

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Ben Blake

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