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The Tanzania star returned to Istanbul on Thursday and he did not waste time to punish the Canaries with an early goal

Mbwana Samatta scored the opening goal for Royal Antwerp in their 2-2 draw against his parent club Fenerbahce in a Uefa Europa League encounter.

The former Genk striker returned to Belgium on a season-long loan in August after finding it difficult to impress in Vítor Pereira’s team.

He initially joined Fenerbahce on loan from Aston Villa in September 2020 and it was made permanent at the end of the 2020-21 campaign after he scored six goals in 30 matches across all competitions.

Samatta has struggled to get goals in the Belgian First Division A this campaign and he is currently enduring a six-game goal drought, however, his form in the European championship has been inspirational for Royal Antwerp.

He has scored two goals in three Europa League matches so far, the first one came in their 2-1 loss to Olympiakos on September 16.

On Thursday, Samatta got the Belgian visitors off to a flying start at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium with his early goal in the opening two minutes.

The Tanzania star’s opener was also a disappointing record for Fenerbahce, being the earliest goal they have ever conceded in the Europa League history (1:48).

It did not take long for Pereira’s team to respond as Ennner Valencia grabbed the equaliser in the 20th minute.

After missing a penalty in the 36th minute, Valencia made up for it by putting Fenerbahce in the lead after converting from the spot on the stroke of half-time.

After the restart, Pieter Gerkens ensured both teams shared the spoils with his 62nd-minute goal for Antwerp.

Samatta played the entire duration for the Belgian club while Nigeria’s Alhassan Yusuf saw 63 minutes of action before his substitution.

Fenerbahce, on the other hand, had Anglo-Nigerian Bright Osayi-Samuel and DR Congo international Marcel Tisserand in action from start to finish.

The draw handed Royal Antwerp their first point in Group D, after defeats to Olympiakos and Eintracht Frankfurt in previous games, and they languish at the bottom of the table behind Fenerbahce who have two points followed by second-placed Olympiakos (six points) and leaders Frankfurt (seven points).

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