Dar es Salaam. National soccer team (Taifa Stars) Captain Mbwana Samatta on Tuesday night made history by becoming the first Tanzanian player to play in the Uefa Champions League when KRC Genk played against Salzburg in Vienna.
This was bound to be a night of many firsts after British newspaper daily Mail had named him as KRC Genk’s star man in their team profile on Tuesday.
To cap up his night among the stars, the 2019 Belgian league’s top scorer got a goal for himself in the 52nd minute, also becoming the first Tanzanian to achieve that feat.
It was, however, not the kind of script that he would have loved for his debut as his team was trailing 5-1 by half time.
The hosts Salzburg who were making a return to the group stage had teenage forward Erling Braut Haaland to thank after he netted the first a hat-trick of the season in a 6-2 win over Samatta’s side.
Salzburg had fallen in the qualifying rounds in the last seven campaigns but finally progressed this season to the group stage for the first time since 1994-95.
Haaland, the teenage English-born Norwegian striker whose father Alf-Inge played for Manchester City, gave Salzburg a second-minute lead and netted twice more before half-time.
Aged just 19 years and 58 days, Haaland is the third-youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick behind Wayne Rooney and Raul, according to sports statisticians Opta.
The South Korean Hwang Hee-Chan and Dominik Szoboszlai also struck before the break for Salzburg, while Captain Andreas Ulmer completed the rout in the second half.
Jhon Lucumi and Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta scored for the Belgian champions.
Next up Mbwana Samatta and co will face the challenge of Champions Liverpool who went down to Napoli by 2-0 in Italy.
The opening night marked two defeats out of two for English sides, Liverpool Champions League and Chelsea Europa league winners.