Ross County 2-2 Celtic: Penalty for Alex Schalk fall 'a horrendous decision' - Rodgers

Respective managers Jim McIntyre and Brendan Rodgers agreed Ross County were incorrectly awarded a late penalty in their fiery 2-2 draw with Celtic.

County striker Alex Schalk threw himself to the ground in the Celtic box, under no contact from defender Erik Sviatchenko.

Referee Don Robertson pointed to the spot, allowing Liam Boyce to draw the game in the 90th minute.

"It's not a penalty," County boss manager McIntyre conceded.

"I've watched it back, you can clearly see Sviatchenko go to tackle him, he's pulled out at the last minute and Alex is expecting contact and is on his way down.

"From that side of things, I can fully understand Celtic's anger or disappointment. But we've had several of them go against us this season where teams have had penalties that have not been penalties, and it's been hard to take, so I understand that.

"It doesn't look good, of course it doesn't. There's clearly no contact, but I believe what he's saying in terms of expecting contact. Some you get, some you don't."

'It's one of the worst decisions I've seen' - Rodgers

Celtic manager Rodgers labelled the decision one of the poorest he had seen since taking charge of the Scottish Premiership champions last summer.

Brendan Rodgers confronts fouth official Kevin Clancy in Dingwall
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers was incensed by the decision to award County a spot-kick

"It's a very disappointing end to a game we dominated throughout," he told BBC Scotland. "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 and the fourth official need to help him or else why are they there?

"There's no way Sviatchenko makes any attempt to get the ball. I'm sure the boy (Schalk) will get punished for it."

If the Scottish Football Association decides to take retrospective action against Schalk, he could face a ban. Hearts winger Jamie Walker was suspended for two matches in August after being found guilty of diving to win a penalty against Celtic.

Celtic skipper set to be available for semi-final

Meanwhile, Celtic captain Scott Brown is set to be available for next Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers despite being sent off in stoppage time.

The skipper was shown red for a late lunge on Boyce that could result in a suspension should referee Robertson deem it violent conduct.

But Celtic are appealing against the red card and the appeal will not be heard until 28 April, before the final Old Firm Premiership game of the season on 29 April.

Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner on BBC Radio Scotland
"You cannot have an excuse for what Brown did. He has put everything in jeopardy for Brendan Rodgers and his team, for the biggest game of the season next week.
"He is such an important player, he is the captain of the club and it is just a lack of responsibility. He has to lead by example. You don't do that. He should have calmed himself down. If he is missing next week, it has taken away a strength of Celtic's against their big rivals."

"It was the culmination of poor decisions," Rodgers said. "He had a lot given against him and not for him. I think he was just a wee bit late in his tackle."

The challenge sparked a bout of pushing and shoving outside the County box, as both sets of players rushed to the scene.

Boyce said he was lucky to escape serious injury, but played down the challenge from Brown.

"I was waiting on the challenge coming, trying to buy us a free-kick to take the pressure off," Boyce said. "I didn't realise how strong he was coming in and thankfully my leg wasn't planted on the ground, otherwise it could have been a really bad one.

"It was a bad challenge - he caught me high up on the shin and it's swollen now. But listen, it happens in games. I had caught him just before."

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