Chapecoense clinch promotion back to Brazil's top flight at first attempt

Brazilian side Chapecoense, who lost most of their squad in an air crash in 2016, have won promotion to Serie A at the first attempt.

Chape beat state rivals Figueirense 2-1 to guarantee a top-four finish in Serie B with four games remaining.

Chapecoense lost almost all of their first-team squad and several directors and backroom staff when their plane crashed into a hillside outside Medellin when travelling to Colombia for the Copa Sudamericana final.

The disaster caught the attention of the global footballing community, sparking sales of team shirts and merchandise around the world. Teams such as Barcelona organised charity matches and fundraisers to help the club.

Although their budget is a fraction of Brazil’s big city clubs, Chapecoense’s hastily-rebuilt side remained competitive in the top flight until they were relegated in December 2019.

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Tuesday’s win brings them back to the top table and sparked celebrations in the small southern city.

“Winning is good. Winning the Santa Catarina state derby is better. Winning the Santa Catarina state derby and guaranteeing a return to the Serie A is SENSATIONAL!” the club tweeted.

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