Gicumbi FC head coach Godfroid Okoko has said that the destiny of the club is in the hands of players after they beat Mukura Victory Sports 2-1 on Saturday at Huye Stadium to move to within two points of both Marines and SC Kiyovu.
Okoko's team are second from bottom with 24 points, two behind Marines, who lost to Etincelles 2-1 on Friday and SC Kiyovu after their 1-1 draw against Espoir in Rusizi on Saturday.
Pepiniere FC are already relegated, leaving the battle for who joins in the second division between Gicumbi, Marines and SC Kiyovu, while Kirehe FC, with 28 points could also be dragged into the dogfight if results don't go their way in the last three matches.
Saturday's match between Mukura, who are in ninth place with 32 points and Gicumbi was delayed for about 30 minutes because of a clash of jersey colours.
And when the game finally kicked off, it took the visitors less than a minute to take the lead through Ugandan striker Rashid Mutebi, who added the second in the 40th minute.
Christophe Ndayishimiye netted for the hosts in the 30th minute but they failed to add on to their tally despite dominating the game and getting 18 corners against Gicumbi's two.
Okoko was not only delighted to beat his former team, but most importantly because Gicumbi still have their destiny to save their status in the topflight division, within their hands.
"It has been so tough for us, but we kept our faith and worked hard so that we can remain in the first division. We lost too many games before I came here, but after winning some games including today's, we can look to the next match with a lot of confidence," Okoko said after Saturday's win over Mukura.
The Burundian tactician added that, "My mission was to save Gicumbi's status in the first division and until now, nothing has changed, but the good thing is that we have our destiny in our hands."
Gicumbi will host Musanze on Tuesday a day after Marines take on second-placed APR FC-if Marines lose and Gicumbi get three points, the two will swap places.
Okoko's team will play away to Kirehe FC on May 26 and wind up the season against the already relegated Pepiniere, while Marines, after the APR game, will next host SC Kiyovu and finish the season against Police FC.
Thirteenth-placed SC Kiyovu, who drew 1-1 away to Espoir FC on Saturday, will play against AS Kigali on Tuesday; they visit Marines and conclude their campaign against champions Rayon Sports..
Amagaju vs Kirehe FC 3:30pm
APR FC vs Marines
Espoir FC 1-1 SC Kiyovu
Pepiniere 2-2 Rayon Sports
Mukura 1-2 Gicumbi FC
AS Kigali 1-1 APR FC
Marines 1-2 Etincelles
Sunrise FC 2-3 Police FC
Kirehe FC 1-2 Bugesera
Musanze 1-2 Amagaju