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African All Stars

Tanzania’s Samatta on target as Royal Antwerp cruise past Charleroi

11:43 GMT+4 17/01/2022
Mbwana Samatta of Royal Antwerp and Tanzania.
The 28-year-old Taifa Star notched his third goal in the Belgian league to help the Great Old secure maximum points at Bosuilstadion

Mbwana Samatta was on target as Royal Antwerp cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win against Charleroi in a Belgian Pro League fixture at Bosuilstadion on Sunday.

It was Swiss international Michael Frey who put the Great Old ahead with goals in the 11th and 14th minutes before Samatta, who came on in the second half, drilled home the third in the 77th minute.

Playing at home and enjoying the support from their fans, Antwerp started the game on a high and it was no surprise when Frey linked up well with Michel-Ange Balikwisha before slotting the ball past Charleroi goalkeeper Bingourou Kamara for the opener.

Three minutes later, the Great Old grabbed their second goal, and it was that man Frey, who scored from a powerful header after a cross delivered from the right-wing by Jelle Bataille.

Antwerp headed into the half-time break with a 2-0 cushion and they started the strongest side in the second period. Frey should have scored a hat-trick but he watched helplessly as his thunderous shot from outside the 18-yard area whizzed over the bar.

In the 70th minute, Antwerp’s Danish coach Brian Priske introduced Samatta for Frey, and the Tanzanian international took only seven minutes on the pitch to find the back of the net.

Samatta latched onto a through ball from Birger Verstraete before beating two Charleroi defenders and looping the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Kamara with his right foot.

The Taifa Star, who is on loan from Turkish side Fenerbahce, has now scored three goals for the Great Old in this campaign from 15 appearances and raked in 693 minutes of play.

Samatta’s first goal came in the team’s 2-1 defeat against Sint-Truide at Stadion Stayen on November 21 before he scored his second in the 4-2 win against Eupen on December 16.

The win ensured Samatta’s Antwerp remain third on the 18-team table with 40 points from 17 matches, seven fewer than leaders Union Saint-Gilloise, who have 47 while Club Brugge are second on 43 points, though they have played one match less.

Samatta will hope to earn a starting role when Antwerp travel to face Oostende in their next league fixture at Diaz Arena on Friday.