Wednesday 24 January 2018

Chapecoense have gone top of Brazil's Serie A just six months after the November plane crash

A phenomenal achievement even at this early stage of the season.

By Max McLean

Three games into the season is no time to call the title race in anyone’s favour, but to see Chapecoense top of the league even at this early stage is cause for celebration.

On November 28 2016, a plane crashed in Colombia killing 71 people, including 19 of Chapecoense’s players and staff.

But just over six months later, the team are undefeated in the Brazilian Serie A having won two and drawn one of their opening league fixtures.

Ahead of the 2017 season Chapecoense signed 25 new players and promoted nine from their youth teams – they have so far beaten last year’s champions Palmeiras 1-0, as well as a 1-1 draw against Corinthians and a 2-0 win over Avai.

Their season hasn’t been all success however, after Chapecoense were docked three points for fielding a suspended player in their 2-1 win over Lanus in the Copa Libertadores – they can no longer reach the knockout rounds.

Chapecoense finished 11th last season, but sit top of the table on goal difference currently, level on points with Corinthians and Cruzeiro – no prizes for guessing who neutral football fans are supporting this year.

Press Association

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