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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Samatta committed and ready to improve Tanzania displays

08:44 WAT 22/11/2019
Mbwana Samatta of Tanzania celebrate his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Kenya
The Belgium-based striker responded to fans who feel he is not giving 100 percent when turning out for the Taifa Stars

Tanzanian captain Mbwana Samatta has expressed his desire to help the Taifa Stars achieve great heights.

Samatta, who features for Belgium’s top division side KRC Genk, has been in the spotlight for his performance in national team colours recently, with some fans saying he is producing below-par displays.

Shortly after the Taifa Stars lost 2-1 to Libya in their second Group J clash of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet Stadium in Monastir, Tunisia on Tuesday night, several football fans took to social media to criticise Samatta for his performance despite scoring.

Samatta gave them an 18th-minute lead with a penalty after Simon Msuva was brought down inside the box by Mohamed Abrahim.

Despite beating Equatorial Guinea 2-1 in their group opener at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam last week, many Taifa Stars fans were quick to criticise the performance of captain.

“Against Equatorial Guinea, he looked like a passenger at times in the first half and some questions began to emerge on his lack of impact after the game, and little has changed against Libya. “He lacked his usual intensity and the things he normally does with relative ease are becoming difficult for him, leaving Simon Msuva and Ditram Nchimbi somewhat isolated,” wrote a fan on social media as quoted by Daily News.

However, Samatta has also acknowledged receiving messages from various individuals, complaining about his dismal show in the national colours.

“I’ve received messages and comments from several individuals, saying they are not pleased with my recent performance with the national team…anyway, I’m not taking it personally, rather I’m happy to hear people speaking their mind," he said as quoted by Daily News.

“I take it as a challenge, which should encourage me to work hard and keep improving and become a better player."

Speaking of the game, Samatta admitted their opponents outplayed them in the second half.

“I have a different opinion. I think we had to either draw or win the match but in the end, we lost the game,” Samatta continued.

“In the second half, our opponents came refreshed and pushed us in our domain, thereby, getting a chance to score two goals and win the match.”