Brazilian side Chapecoense have miraculously survived relegation almost one year after 19 playing squad members lost their lives to a plane crash in Colombia.
The Southern Brazilian side defeated Vitoria 2-1 at home on Thursday night to stay up in the championship with three set of matches left to play.
— Chapecoense (de 🏡) (@ChapecoenseReal) November 17, 2017
During the game, fans chanted “Vamos, vamos Chape” (Let’s go Chape) at 71 minutes as they have been doing in the other games since the crash and it is in reference to the total number of victims from the crash.
Brazilian football witnessed one of its darkest days on November 29, 2016 after a plane conveying the team to the Copa Sudamericana final crashed into a hillside near Medellin, killing 71 people including majority of Chape’s board and coaching staff and several journalists.
Speaking on the epic achievement, De Melo, who left the club in 2015 before returning as one of the new signings, said: “We promised to keep the team in Serie A, which is where our warriors left us.”
“We had a difficult year and their memory made us fight until the very end, so Chape remains in the topflight division for the fifth year in a row.
“That is no small thing for a club of our financial capabilities, and a city from the countryside that endured so much.” he concluded.
It was really brave of Chapecoense to turn down the immunity from relegation offered due to the team’s totally new squad. Fans had started regretting that decision until a run of victories in the last month eased the tension.