Chapecoense Play First Game Since Plane Crash

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Chapecoense played their first game since the majority of the team were killed in a plane crash on 29 November.

Seventy-one people, including 19 players and staff, were killed as the Brazilian team travelled to Colombia for the final of the Copa Sudamericana.

The team recruited 22 new players and hosted Brazilian league champions Palmeiras in Saturday’s friendly.

Three players who survived the crash, received the Copa Sudamericana before the game at the Arena Conda stadium.

Defenders Neto and Alan Ruschel and goalkeeper Jackson Follmann, who had his leg amputated, were among the six survivors.

They received the trophy and medals alongside families of the victims in front of 20,000 fans at Chapecoense’s sold-out stadium, while another survivor, radio reporter Rafael Henzel, commentated on the game.

The club gave 241 journalists from around the world accreditation for the game.

The game stopped on 71 minutes as players from both teams and supporters stood and clapped in honour of the victims, before continuing with the match.

Chapecoense were awarded the Copa Sudamericana trophy following the disaster, a move backed by Colombian club Atletico Nacional, who were scheduled to face them in the final.

To rebuild the side, sporting director Rui Costa has recruited 22 players, most of them on loan, and appointed Vagner Mancini as manager.

Douglas Grolli scored Chapecoense’s first goal and Amaral added a second as they drew 2-2 with Palmeiras.

Half of the match proceeds will go to the families of those killed, while the rest will be used to rebuild the club.

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