Former Sunderland striker Don Goodman hit out at Championship referee Andy Woolmer after sending Alim Ozturk off in the win over Portsmouth.
Ozturk was red carded in the 67th minute for a foul on Pompey skipper Gareth Evans outside the area, with Evans running away from goal.
Jack Ross has confirmed Sunderland will appeal the red card, with Ozturk facing a one-game ban and a suspension in the second leg of the League One play-off semi-final at Fratton Park on Thursday evening.
The Sunderland players were furious with the decision and it angered ex-Sunderland striker Goodman too, working on the game for Sky Sports.
Goodman said: "Well I can’t believe that.
"I have just been praising Andy Woolmer. My goodness me, For me, this is 100 percent not a clear and obvious goal scoring opportunity.
"The ball is going well away from the goal. He’s not happy with Evans, and maybe he shouldn’t have been diving in like that. But it should not be a red card, as far as I’m concerned."
Ross said post-match: "My reaction at the time was that it was impossible for me to say whether it was a foul from my point of view, my only criticism was that it wasn’t a clear goalscoring opportunity.
“The touch has taken the player towards the side of the box and having watched it again I’d be of the same opinion.
“We will appeal it on that basis. I don’t think it was clear and obvious.
“People will think I would say that, but I have tried to take a balanced view. I felt it was an incorrect decision. Once it happens it is about trying to find a way to win the game.”