The language used in sports reports can be quite specialised. As a UK resident who visits the US quite frequently I am amused by the different idioms used by UK and US media to report on football/soccer matches. I'm answering this question from a UK perspective. You may find it helpful to read online match reports to see how the games are reported; the BBC website is an example of a pretty standard UK site.
In every-day speech, and in match reports the focus seems to be on the award of a free kick or penalty to the team against whom the foul was commited.
A few minutes later, Morgan was flummoxed by the pace of Shane Long, who was hauled down in the area. Referee Michael Oliver rightly pointed to the spot.
You see there that we don't need to say that Morgan (or his team) were penalised, just that the referee awarded a penalty to the opponents.
You will see phrases such as
The referee blew for a foul.
Jone mistimed his tackle and the referee gave City a free kick on the edge of the area
One specific example of penalising a player occurs when the referee gives the player a yellow card. We then use the verb book, as in the past the referee would write the player's name in his notebook (these days they seem to write the name on the yellow card they brandish.)
So we see
Mark Clattenburg booked him for dissent in the 76th minute.