Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s Mbwana Samatta experienced a “dream come true” moment on Tuesday night when he scored for KRC Genk against Liverpool.
Samatta headed Genk level before the interval, but it was not enough to inspire his Belgian side to victory in a Uefa Champions League clash at Anfield, England.
He cancelled out Georginio Wijnaldum’s opener with his 40th-minute header off Bryan Heynen’s corner-kick in the Group E match.
“I am extremely elated to score a goal at Anfield, where there is always a great atmosphere,” Samatta said.
“This is like a dream come true,” Samatta –the national soccer team, Taifa Stars, captain – added.
It took a 53rd minute strike by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to down Genk 2-1 in the thrilling match.
The defeat left Genk rooted to the bottom of the group and dashed their hopes of qualifying for the next round.
They have one point after four matches, but Samatta assured they will end their group campaign on a high with fixtures against RB Salzburg and Napoli coming up next.
“I don’t think we’re ever happy to lose. We did well but we’re disappointed to end up on the losing side,” he said.
He added: “We have two big games coming up and we’ll try and do our best to finish the group well.
“We lost as a group, although we played a good game. But in the end we lost the game, so my goal is not so important.”
Tuesday’s effort was Samatta’s eighth goal in all competitions in this campaign and he is happy with the partnership he has struck with Heynen.
“It was a nice corner from Bryan [Heynen]. I’ve scored a lot of goals from his set-pieces already, and today there was a good connection between us again,” he said.
The 26-year-old will be looking to help Genk return to winning ways when they host Gent at Luminus Arena for Sunday’s Belgian First Division A match.
‘Job done’ for Klopp
Liverpool won 4-1 in Genk two weeks ago and looked on course for another comfortable victory against the Belgians when Georginio Wijnaldum gave them the lead at Anfield.
However, with manager Jurgen Klopp resting several players ahead of this weekend’s clash with Manchester City, the reigning European champions were pegged back.
“The plan was to win the game and we did that, so job done,” he said
Liverpool are top of Group E, a point above Napoli, who could have qualified for the last 16 with a win against Salzburg but were held to a 1-1 draw.
- Haaland scores again -
Erling Braut Haaland’s early penalty -- the 19-year-old’s seventh Champions League goal this season -- gave Salzburg the lead, before Hirving Lozano equalised.
In Germany, Inter looked to be heading for a second straight win against Dortmund as they raced into a 2-0 half-time lead with Lautaro Martinez and Matias Vecino scoring.
Yet Dortmund fought back in the second half to win the game as Achraf Hakimi grabbed a brace either side of a Julian Brandt goal.
It is a result that leaves Dortmund second in Group F, three points ahead of Inter and one behind Barcelona, who are still top despite a 0-0 draw at home to Slavia Prague.
- Messi denied -
Lionel Messi almost scored one of his finest goals, hitting the woodwork at the end of an exhilarating run in the first half.
Barcelona had not failed to score in a home Champions League group game in seven years and this result followed a shock weekend defeat at Levante.
“We haven’t been convincing, either on Saturday or today, and we know there is a lot of pressure now on the team. We have to respond,” said coach Ernesto Valverde.
RB Leipzig top Group G after goals by Diego Demme and Marcel Sabitzer gave the Germans a 2-0 win at Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Lyon are two points behind them in second following a 3-1 defeat of Benfica.
Joachim Andersen and Bertrand Traore scored for Lyon either side of a goal from Memphis Depay, who has now netted in all four Champions League games this season. Haris Seferovic scored for Benfica.