Gus Poyet hailed the "best decision" he had ever seen after Phil Dowd awarded Sunderland a penalty in Sunday's 4-0 win over Cardiff City.
Sunderland were 1-0 ahead at the Stadium of Light when they were given a spot-kick as a result of Juan Cala pulling back Connor Wickham.
Dowd initially allowed play to continue before bringing the game back and pointing to the penalty spot after Sunderland had failed to gain an advantage.
Cala was sent off and Fabio Borini doubled the hosts' lead from 12 yards before Sunderland added a further two second-half goals to move out of the bottom three.
After seeing his team claim a crucial victory in their battle to stay in the Premier League, Sunderland head coach Poyet praised Dowd for his decision-making.
"It’s the best decision I've ever seen from a referee in my life," said the Uruguayan. "If we really want to stop players going down easily, this is the way.
"He's done what we all wanted but for some reason had not been possible (in the past)."
Poyet pointed to a recent incident involving West Ham's Matt Jarvis, who was denied a penalty against Arsenal after staying on his feet following a challenge from Bacary Sagna.
"Definitely Jarvis helped us a lot, because after that incident we were talking about these actions and today we got what everyone was expecting," added Poyet.
Sunderland are now out of the relegation zone and have a game in hand on the bottom three, yet Poyet insists his side must maintain their focus.
"We've done everything but done nothing," he added. "There are still games to play, and everything can change.
"We have put ourselves in the best position possible.
"We're getting the breaks and maybe we're getting them at the right time, at the end.
"It's very easy for me to pick the team now, which is credit to the players who have been there week-in, week-out. Let's see if we can finish well."
|10||C. Wickham||26' 86'|
|31||F. Borini||45+1' 83'|
|Coach: G. Poyet|
for S. Larsson 73'
for A. Johnson 84'
for J. Colback 84'
|Allen thrilled with Welsh ´hunger´|
|Kovacic to miss Euro 2016 qualifier|
|Costa Rica 0 Paraguay 0: Dour draw marks Diaz debut|
|Reid ruled out of South Korea friendly|
|Deschamps talks up France despite defeat|
|Rooney chasing England goalscoring record|
|Brazil ´superior´ admit French veterans|
|Reeves sidelined for Finland clash|
|Confidence critical for rampaging Brazil - Dunga|
|France 1 Brazil 3: Dunga´s men maintain winning run|
|Chile 0 Iran 2: Nekounam and Amiri down Copa America hosts|
|Premier League to share over £1bn from record TV deal|
|Morocco v Uruguay: Last chance to impress Tabarez for Copa champions|
|Iran 2-0 Chile: Nekounam and Amiri down Copa America hosts|
|Ivanovic braced for Ronaldo test|
|Bahrain 0 Colombia 6: Falcao stars in comfortable victory|
|Jones to Bournemouth leads loan deadline day moves in Championship|
|Bahrain 0-6 Colombia: Falcao stars in resounding victory|
|Malmo fined for poor pitch by UEFA|
|League Two Preview: Hartlepool aim to continue great escape, leaders Burton host Stevenage|
|France 1-3 Brazil: Neymar on target as Selecao triumph in Paris|
|Bulgaria v Italy: Verratti vows to be Azzurri´s midfield general|
|Kane primed for full England debut|
|Kone receives positive news over knee injury|
|Terry pens new Chelsea deal|
|PSG tie down Marquinhos|
|De Gea stamp was accidental - Skrtel|
|Villa hopeful over Xavi reunion|
|El Salvador v Argentina: Messi set for Roca reunion|
|Ghana v Senegal: Grant´s side looking to rebuild after AFCON disappointment|
|Ferdinand to serve extended touchline ban|
|League One Preview: Duo aiming to inspire Notts County revival, Alexander back at Preston|
|Hodgson keeps an eye on Sterling and Milner|
|Filipe Luis cools talk of Atleti return|
|West Brom to wear retro kit for Leicester clash|
|Netherlands v Turkey: Sneijder unconcerned by key absentees|
|Del Bosque wary of Ukraine threat|
|Israel v Wales: Pivotal fixture for both sides in chase for Euro dream|
|Bosnich backs Villa to beat drop|
|Walcott denies Wenger ´bust-up´|
|Hart: Aguero more difficult to face than Messi|
|Williams: I can´t see myself playing for anyone else|
|Coutinho eager to add more goals to his game|
|Khedira confirms Real exit|
|Messi attends NBA match with Argentina squad|
|United will qualify for Champions League - Bosnich|
|Mexico v Ecuador: Hernandez desperate to play|
|Podolski plays down Germany cameo|
|Bendtner: I could have scored four|
|Leverock family adds to World Cup exploits for Bermuda|
|Pele: ´Impossible´ for Neymar to replace me|
|MLS Preview: New England hoping to end drought|
|A-League Preview: Phoenix without stars for Sydney showdown|
|Klinsmann laments late collapse|
|Premier League clubs post first pre-tax profit for 15 years|
|Vokes relishing chance to link up with Bale|
|Dunga encourages Brazil to entertain|
|Dyke: FA to discuss Hodgson extension|
|Janko eyes history with Austria|
|Wilson urges Begovic to stay put|
|Strachan: Scotland have work to do|
|Sky´s the limit for Australia - Postecoglou|
|Low unhappy with below-par Germany|
|Scotland 1 Northern Ireland 0: Berra´s header settles dour contest|
|Germany 2 Australia 2: Substitute Podolski salvages draw|
|Denmark 3 United States 2: Bendtner hat-trick rescues Danes|
|Scotland 1-0 Northern Ireland: Berra the unlikely hero for hosts|
|Gobbi: Players will ´pay the price´ to keep Parma afloat|
|Rose withdraws from England squad|
|Germany 2-2 Australia: Podolski rescues draw for World champions|
|Denmark 3-2 USA: Bendtner hat-trick wins it for the Danes|
|Nigeria 0 Uganda 1: Late winner sours Enyeama landmark|
|Swaziland 1 South Africa 3: Bafana Bafana back to winning ways|
|Camp Nou to host Copa del Rey final|
|Labadie charged with violent conduct after biting claims|
|Bender keen to rekindle Bayern rivalry|
|Swansea eager to tie down Taylor|
|Varane learning from Real troubles|
|Forster ruled out for rest of season|
|Inter full-back Dodo has successful surgery|
|Verratti focused on future at PSG|
|Minnesota awarded MLS expansion team|
|Ibrahimovic slams ´b******t´ PSG exit rumours|
|Gibson withdraws from Ireland squad|
|Ozil convinced he can win Ballon d’Or|
|Costa: I take a beating from Premier League defenders|
|Canada v Guatemala: Floro seeks to develop winning mentality|
|Vermaelen returns to Barcelona training|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Preview: Spain face big Ukraine test, Germany visit Georgia|
|Spain v Ukraine: Morata set for first competitive start|
|England v Lithuania: Hart urges Kane not to leave U21s behind|
|Monchengladbach snap up Hannover skipper Stindl|
|Khedira gives strong hint of Real exit|
|Skrtel banned for three matches|
|Brisbane Roar 1 Western Sydney Wanderers 4: Champions´ title defence in tatters|
|Sampdoria swoop for Ajax captain Moisander|
|Barnes: Sterling not ready for big-money move|
|Ferdinand: Ramsey appointment a gamble|
|Ideye hopeful of facing QPR|
|Lampard eyes MLS showdown with Gerrard|
|Ronaldo could face suspension over Clasico celebration|
|Hodgson expects more withdrawals|
|Schalke fans overwhelm Farfan after injury lay-off|
|Swedish third-tier club Dalkurd avoid Germanwings flight|
|Japan v Tunisia: Halilhodzic takes charge of hosts for first time|
|Schweinsteiger brushes aside captaincy pressure|
|Barzagli supports Conte call-ups|
|South Korea v Uzbekistan: Stielike searching for improvement|
|France wary of more balanced Brazil|