Dundalk manager Vinny Perth blasted the officiating during his side's 2-1 defeat in the Europa Conference League at the expense of Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday night.
Perth cut a frustrated figure after the game and bemoaned the questionable offside call given against his side that denied the Lilywhites a lead after 39 seconds. It had appeared in the ground as though Michael Duffy had given the home team a dream start when he had the ball in the back of the net, but the offside flag went up to the bemusement of the crowd, and of Perth.
"I've seen the video, and for me, unless I am missing something, it's clearly onside," Perth told reporters after the game.
"I'm very disappointed. The refereeing standard has been very good in the tournament, but sometimes you earn your bit of luck.
"I heard that was their first European game, I don't know how true that is. But they were far, far short of the level required at this level."
— James Rogers (@jamesrogersie) August 12, 2021
Despite falling two goals behind, Dundalk rallied in the second-half, and were mightily unlucky not to bring the game to extra-time, having dominated the game after Pat Hoban's 71st minute penalty brought them back into contention.
Perth, however, admits that matters little to him or his side who were said to be 'devastated' after the action.
"Those are moral victories, but we don't do that at this football club," he adds. "The players are devastated.
"I've got to look at that, did I make mistakes to allow them into that lead? I've got to analyse that and how we ended up in that situation.
They're [Vitesse] a very lucky side not to get out of here without extra-time. As much as I am proud of the players, I am also bitterly disappointed that we haven't taken them to a minimum of extra-time.
And I think if we got there there was only going to be one winner. They were out on their feet. But it is a bitterly disappointing night. It is what it is and we've got to accept that.
We've pushed a top side all the way and we have to take it on the chin.
"We were unlucky," he continued. "But ultimately we weren't able to take that moment that was there to take.
"This is not a group that likes moral victories. It is going to hurt and take a while to get over.
"We're going to have to get over that and we'll have to take it on the chin."