Nordsjaelland rage over Shakhtar's goal
Nordsjaelland were raging over what they saw as the unsporting conduct of Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainians' 5-2 away win, with the coach saying Luiz Adriano should have been sent off for his controversial goal.
Shakhtar's victory at the Danes on Tuesday sealed their progression to the Champions League last 16 from Group E but it left a sour taste in the mouth for the irate home side.
A goal down in the first half, Shakhtar striker Luiz Adriano pounced on a pass intended to return the ball to the Danish champions following an injury, before rounding the Nordsjaelland goalkeeper and finishing into an empty net.
"I don't know if Shakhtar are bandits, but some of their players, bosses and coaches are without morals," Nordsjaelland coach Kasper Hjulmand told Danish television station TV3+.
Hjulmand said that instead of the goal being allowed to stand, Adriano should have been sent off instead of going on to score a hat-trick.
"First and foremost it's the player's choice. As coaches, we are forever on about respect for the game, the opponent and the rules," he fumed.
"In my world it's unsportsmanlike conduct and a red card for Luiz Adriano would have been quite appropriate."
Despite Adriano's mistake, Shakhtar declined the chance to allow Nordsjaelland to score unopposed as compensation.
Some of the visiting players appeared content to let Nordsjaelland's Nicolai Stokholm score straight from the kickoff but when midfielder Taras Stepanenko tackled him, Danish tempers flared.
"(Darijo) Srna looked like he wanted to let him score and others agreed. Some players looked out towards the bench but no one knew what would happen," said Hjulmand.
Incensed by what they perceived as a lack of fair play, Nordsjaelland took the lead again moments later when Kasper Lorentzen rifled home, prompting Hjulmand to celebrate in front of his opposite number Mircea Lucescu.
The Shakhtar coach said he had instructed his side to let Nordsjaelland score and blamed the situation on a misunderstanding in his team. He thought justice was done as the Danes scored soon anyway before Shakhtar ran away with the game.
"I asked what happened. Adriano said: 'It was instinct, I see the ball and I dribbled and I scored a goal'," Lucescu told a news conference.
"We wanted to let them score, there was big confusion in the team and they scored. They deserved to score, and after 2-1 we started to play football. It's a pity that this happened. I'm sorry."
But Nordsjaelland sporting director Jan Laursen said he had gone to Lucescu at halftime to ask the Ukrainian side to show a sense of fair play.
"I am shocked that a man of that stature just stood and stared," Laursen said.
"He obviously thought they should be leading by 6-0 at halftime. I think it's a great loss to football that something like this should happen."
Hjulmand said that had his side scored such a goal, he would have told them to stand aside and concede a goal unopposed.
"I would have called the team to the side and told them to give away a goal. I would have done that, 100 percent," he bristled.
Despite his side being out of the competition anyway, Hjulmand would like to see the Ukrainian champions and 2009 Uefa Cup winners punished.
"I don't know what a fair punishment would be, but if we want to work with fair play in football we have to crack down on it," he said.