Chapecoense, Atletico face-off four months after crash

The sides clash in the Recopa, the South American equivalent of Europe's Super Cup

Afp April 04, 2017
Atletico Nacional team arrive at Serafim Enoss Bertaso airport in Chapeco. PHOTO: REUTERS

CHAPECO: Four months after a plane crash all but wiped out Chapecoense, the Brazilian club will on Tuesday face the rivals they were on their way to play, Colombia's Atletico Nacional.

19 Chapecoense players and 24 club officials were killed on November 28 when the team's plane crashed into the Colombian mountains.

After signing 22 new players, the Brazilian team are trying to rise from the ashes.

Brazil football club ravaged by plane crash to sign 20 players

They will finally get their chance to take on Atletico in a first-leg match in the Recopa, the South American equivalent of Europe's Super Cup.

They will play the Colombian side at home in Arena Conda, in the small southern city of Chapeco.

The two clubs share a close bond.

Unsung Chapecoense had been on their way to play the biggest match in their history against Atletico: the final of the Copa Sudamericana, South America's second-biggest club tournament.

Fallen but not forgotten: Sudamericana title awarded to Chapecoense

After the tragedy, Atletico ceded the title to Chapecoense in tribute.

That gave the rebuilding club an automatic ticket to play in this year's Copa Libertadores, the premier club tournament in South America, for the first time ever.

A series of tributes are planned in Chapeco, including a ceremony of thanks before the match.

"This isn't just any match. This match represents a lot of history for Chapecoense," said coach Vagner Mancini.


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