Brazilian club Chapecoense, who lost a large part of their squad in an air crash in 2016, were promoted to the first division on Tuesday after spending a year in the second division.
Chape, as the club is called, beat state rivals Figueirense 2-1 to secure a top-four finish in Serie B with four games remaining and promotion for the 2021 season.
Chapecoense lost nearly all of their first-team squad and some of the directors and backroom staff when their plane bound for Colombia for the Copa Sudamericana final crashed into a hillside outside Medellin.
The disaster caught the attention of the global football community, sparking sales of team shirts and merchandise around the world. Teams like Barcelona organize charity matches and fundraisers to help clubs.
Despite their budget being a fraction of that of big city Brazilian clubs, Chapecoense’s hastily rebuilt side remained competitive at the top flight until they were relegated in December 2019.
Tuesday’s win brought them back to the top table and sparked celebrations in the small southern town.
“Winning is good. Winning the Santa Catarina derby is even better. Winning the Santa Catarina derby and guaranteeing a return to Serie A is SENSATIONAL! The club tweeted after the game at the empty Conda Arena.
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