Chapecoense win first title since tragic plane crash


Grief-stricken side Chapecoense continued their resurrection by claiming the second stage of Santa Catarina's state championship.

Chapecoense's world was turned upside down when a plane carrying the Brazilian squad, technical commission and a number of journalists for the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional crashed en route to Medellin two days before the match was due to take place, killing 71 people on board in November.

Of the travelling squad, only three survived, Neto, Alan Ruschel and Jackson Follmann - leaving Chapecoense heartbroken and struggling to field a team.

But with the help of loanees, Chapecoense have tried to rebuild and the Brazilians continued their comeback with their first title since the tragic plane crash on Sunday.

Reinaldo - one of the loanees from Sao Paulo - and Tulio de Melo scored as Chapecoense defeated Joinville 2-0 to be crowned champions of the local tournament, which is named after club president Sandro Pallaoro, who was among the victims of the crash last year.

Chapecoense - who finished second to Avai in the first half of the Catarinense but are unbeaten this time around after eight matches - secured the second stage of the competition with a game to spare as they look to take out the Santa Catarina Championship outright.

Vagner Mancini's Chapecoense will go head-to-head with Avai in the two-legged final.