Amiens SC are almost certain of playing the second Ligue 1 Conforama season of their history following a 3-1 win over RC Strasbourg Alsace on Saturday.
Amiens SC 3-1 RC Strasbourg Alsace
Amiens had lost to Olympique Lyonnais last time out, but their last home game had ended in a 3-0 win over SM Caen, and the hosts set about their task with gusto in the Picardy late evening sunshine.
As busy as they were, they were unable to significantly trouble Alexandre Oukidja in the visitors' goal, while Strasbourg, who had not won away since early December, were unequally toothless in front of Régis Gurtner.
Quality in the final pass was lacking until the dying seconds of the first half when Amiens forged ahead. The hosts need fortune as Oukidja and Serge Gakpé collided as Bakaye Dibassy's ball came into the box, and Thomas Monconduit was able to score with ease (45').
Manzala, Kakuta on target
An unconscious Gakpé had to be stretchered off, and fortunately came to his senses quickly, Strasbourg though did not recover so well from the blow they had taken. They held Amiens at arm's length before the hosts sealed a very welcome win in the closing stages.
Oukidja had already pushed out a Harrison Manzala effort (78') when the Congolese forward, who had replaced the stunned Gakpé at half-time, netted Amiens' second of the night (79').
Gaël Kakuta scored a third in added time (90+3') to all but ensure they will be in Ligue 1 Conforama next season; Idriss Saadi pulled one back (90+4') for Strasbourg, who must still battle on.
THE PLAYER: Amiens squad
Dramatically promoted in the last seconds of last season, the Picardy side have shown their strength as a squad this term. While individuals like Kakuta have stood out at times, their campaign has been an all-round achievement, as this victory was too.
THE STAT: 40
Amiens now have 40 points, the mythical mark required for safety. They are not mathematically safe given LOSC Lille, second from bottom, could still get to 41, but with five teams between themselves and the northerners, Christophe Pelissier's men can surely enjoy their remaining four matches.