Mbwana Samatta

Aston Villa signs Tanzanian captain
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Aston Villa gets its man in prolific Tanzanian captain Samatta

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Aston Villa has captured its center forward, signing Tanzanian national team captain Mbwana Samatta in its bid for Premier League safety.

Samatta turned 27 last month and has 51 caps with 18 goals for Tanzania. He’s ineligible to play for Villa when it hosts Watford on Tuesday (Watch live at 2:30 p.m. ET online on NBCSports.com).

The fee is reported as $13 million.

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“I’m so excited. It’s a huge step for me and my career. For all the people from Tanzania, it’s a big step for the country as well. Everybody is so on it, they are looking to see one Tanzanian guy who can play in the Premier League. Here today I’m him, and I’m so happy.”

The striker scored 26 times last season for Genk, and has 76 goals for the club since arriving in 2015. He scored against Liverpool and twice versus Red Bull Salzburg in this season’s Champions League group stage.

He spent time with Congolese club TP Mazembe and Tanzanian side Simba SC before that.

Villa’s 22 points are back of the Premier League’s safe spaces, and the Midlands club is a win away from the League Cup final. The semifinal second leg at Leicester City takes place Jan. 28.

AFCON wrap; Senegal falters, Kenya produces thrilling comeback

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
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The Africa Cup of Nations has been anything but predictable, and Thursday was no exception.

Madascar stayed unbeaten in group play, Tanzania gave Kenya a scare before throwing away its lead, and Algeria kept Sadio Mane quiet to move to 2-0 on the tournament in Egypt.

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Kenya 3-2 Tanzania

This one had a bit of everything, with Happygod Msuvan and Mbwana Samatta helping the Tanzanians to a 2-1 halftime advantage.

But Johanna Omolo tied the score in the 62nd before Michael Olunga completed his brace in the 80th minute to spin Kenya from the verge of 0-2 to hopeful of the knockout rounds.

Senegal 0-1 Algeria

Youcef Belaïli’s goal was the highlight of a dreary match featuring just four shots on target. But don’t worry Liverpool supporters: Sadio Mane’s Senegal can still head to the knockout rounds with a result against Kenya.

Algeria is now unbeaten in eight matches, has won its group, and can rest its men in the group stage final against Tanzania before playing the third place team from A, B, or F in the Round of 16 on July 7.

Madagascar 1-0 Burundi

Marco Ilaimaharitra’s arrow of a free kick in the 76th minute gave Barea a 1-0 win and has the island nation on the brink of the knockout rounds following a tournament-opening draw with Guinea.

Madagascar had never participated in the the Africa Cup of Nations coming into the tournament, and now this goal from the Sporting Charleroi defensive midfielder has provided their first win.