Chapecoense win first title since air tragedy

Indo Asian News Service

Rio de Janeiro, April 16 (IANS) Brazil's Chapecoense defeated Joinville 2-0 in the final of the Sandro Pallaoro Cup to clinch their first title since a devastating plane crash almost wiped out the club team.

Left-back Reinaldo opened the scoring on Saturday before second-half substitute Tulio de Melo doubled the hosts' lead seven minutes from time, reports Xinhua news agency.

Seventy-one people died -- including 19 Chapecoense players and most of the club's staff -- when the chartered plane in which they were travelling slammed into a hillside in Colombia last November.

There were only six survivors, including Chapecoense players Alan Ruschel, Helio Neto and Jakson Follmann.

The accident occurred less than two days before Chapecoense were due to play Colombia's Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final.

Chapecoense were later declared winners of the continental tournament at the request of Atletico Nacional, giving the team a direct berth in this year's Copa Libertadores, South America's top club competition.

--IANS

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