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Benjelloun would settle for second

18 Oct 2009 15:40:33

Benjelloun would settle for second

The Moroccan and compatriot Merouane Zemmama saw their hopes of playing at South Africa next summer dashed following the recent 3-1 qualifying loss to Gabon. However, Benjelloun was able to put that disappointment behind him as he scored the winning penalty against Kilmarnock to keep the Leith outfit in touch with Rangers and Celtic at the summit. John Hughes' third-placed side are just two points adrift of league leaders Rangers ahead of next Saturday's trip to Ibrox, and Benjelloun claims they are capable of finishing runners-up this season. He said: "I think this year Rangers and Celtic and all the teams are similar so I think everyone can win and lose. "It's not the same as before when the Old Firm were far away from the other clubs. I think this year we have a chance to be second or maybe third. "I don't want to say champions but maybe second or third. "Celtic drew which was good and Rangers won but we have a chance to go and beat them because, as I said, the level is the same. "When Rangers are at home or away, they can lose. "I think we have good players to play very good football." Benjelloun admitted he was down heading into the match following Morocco's unsuccessful bid to reach the World Cup, although he and Zemmama are still hoping to help their country reach the African Nations Cup in January. Benjelloun said: "We lost 3-1 against Gabon and we were very disappointed and I had a sore head all week thinking about the World Cup and African Nations Cup. "In the next game against Cameroon we will try to win so we can maybe go to the African Nations Cup but it is very disappointing to lose as Morocco is a big name in Africa and we should be playing in World Cups." Benjelloun scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute after being bundled over in the box by Gavin Skelton and he is adamant referee Craig Thomson got it right. He added: "Of course the Kilmarnock player is going to say it's not a penalty. "He has come in and I wanted to take it on the chest but he came in from the back and pushed me and it was the right decision."


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