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Samatta to light up UEFA Champions League

NATIONAL football team, Taifa Stars striker, Mbwana Samatta, will be the first Tanzanian to compete in the UEFA Champions League after his club KRC Genk claimed Belgium title.

Racing Genk were crowned Belgian champions on Thursday after a 1-1 draw at Anderlecht gave them an unassailable four-point lead over Club Brugges, who lost 2-0 at Standard Liege.

Genk’s fourth title – and first since 2011 – came with the last round of the season to be completed on Sunday. The other three titles came in 1998/99, 2001/02 and in 2010/11.

They also won four Belgian cups, most recently in 2008/09 and in 2012/13. Genk qualified for UEFA Champions League group stage in 2013. Genk were ahead at Anderlecht after 11 minutes through Bryan Heynen but Anderlecht's Yannick Bolasie, on loan from Everton, headed home at the far post to equalise in the 65th minute.

A nervy Genk, coached by Philippe Clement, held out for the last 25 minutes to secure the crucial point which proved enough as defending champions Brugges went down at Standard.

Standard's Romanian international Razvan Marin, who is joining Ajax Amsterdam next season, converted a second half penalty and added a spectacular second in his last home game. Stars’ skipper Samatta finished the campaign on top of goal scoring chat with 23 goals.

The former Simba striker has been instrumental in the team since signing a four-year contract in 2017 from Congolese side TP Mazembe. He has proved to be a great addition for Genk and just a week ago, he won the Ebony Shoe 2018/19, a prize for the best African footballer in Belgium.

Samatta is the first Genk winner of the Ebony Shoe since striker Moumouni Dagano of Burkina Faso won the prize in 2002. Souleymane Oulare was the first Genk player to win the Ebony Shoe in 1999.

Samatta had also been in superb form for TP Mazembe where he led them to the CAF Champions League title, scoring eight goals.

IT’S do or die for the Tanzanian envoys, ...

Author: By DAILY NEWS Reporter/Agencies

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