Tanzanian international Mbwana Samatta has set his sights on reaching the group stage after successful guiding Belgian side KRC Genk to the Europa League's 3rd preliminary round.
Samatta has enjoyed a bright start to his career in the Belgium top flight division and helped his side oust Buducnost Podgorica of Montenegro on penalties last Thursday. Samatta expressed his delight after another fine performance with in the Genk shirt and set his focus in helping the team reach the group stage.
It wasn't a smooth sail though for the Limburgers who escaped a major embarrassment against the Montenegro envoys in Podgorica. Genk had won the first tie 2-0 in Belgium. However, they had to swallow a goal after just 30 seconds on a hot evening in Montenegro. Genk were 2-0 behind before the break and matters got worse when they were reduced to 10 men, after central defender Bennard Kumordzi was sent off.
The match went into extra time, but the aggregate score was still at 2-all after 120 minutes. Favourites Genk were facing an embarrassing exit from Europe but set things straight in the penalty shoot-out, 4-2. "I feel really delighted because it was a very difficult game.
I feel in good shape as I gather more experience playing in different competitions," said Samatta. Genk will now meet Cork City of Ireland in the next round, with pundits tipping to make it at least to the 4th and final preliminary round or to the group stage.
"I know nothing about our next opponents, but I believed they will be a strong team, you will hardly find an easy side in this tournament," the Taifa Stars captain said.
The reigning African player of the year said he was focused on playing enough games, bag in more goals as he looks forward to playing in the UEFA Champions League with the Belgian outfit.
Source: Tanzania Daily News.