Benayoun dedicates goal to Liverpool fans

Israel national team captain scores last-gasp game winner on Sunday; Liverpool hasn't won the league title since 1990.

By JEREMY LAST
April 6, 2009 06:05
2 minute read.
Benayoun dedicates goal to Liverpool fans

benayoun celebrates liverpool 248.88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

Yossi Benayoun said on Sunday he believes his last-gasp game-winning goal for Liverpool against Fulham on Saturday illustrated the team's depth of character, but he refused to speak about winning the Premier League championship. The Israel national team captain came back from injury as a late substitute as Rafa Benitez's side appeared to be heading for a 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage. After coming close to scoring on a number of occasions, Benayoun struck a super shot into the top corner, giving Fulham goalie Mark Schwarzer no chance, with just two minutes of stoppage time remaining. The victory temporarily sent Liverpool to the top of the league standings, until Manchester United's similarly dramatic win over Aston Villa on Sunday. "It was a great feeling to score in the last minute because we missed a lot of chances and you think it's one of those days when nothing goes in, so to score at the end made everyone really happy," Benayoun told the official Liverpool Web site. "I think we have proved in a lot of games this season that we will fight to the end and give our best to the end. We have won a lot of games this season in the last minute and that shows we have a strong character." Liverpool hasn't won the league title since 1990, when Benayoun was only 10-years-old. But, despite being in superb form since defeating Real Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals and routing Manchester United in the Premier League last month, the team's jersey number 15 would not discuss the possibility of winning the league. "There is a long way to go. Hopefully we can continue winning," Benayoun said. "We have confidence but we are only thinking about the next game, and that is Chelsea in the Champions League." It was a wonderful return for the 28-year-old who had been under intense scrutiny over the past week and a half since returning to Israel for the two World Cup qualifiers against Greece with a hamstring injury. Benayoun played one and a half games for the national team against Greece, and set up Omer Golan for the equalizer at Ramat Gan, but was unable to inspire his countrymates to pick up any points in Crete in the return leg when he came on as a second half substitute. The legendary Liverpool traveling support was ecstatic with the win over Fulham, staying behind to cheer the team for up to an hour after the final whistle. And Benayoun dedicated his goal to the team's fans. "We have the best fans in the world," he said. "You can see that every time we play, home and away they are always supporting us. To see them celebrate like that at the end, it was nice to score just for them."


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