Sports

Chapecoense Score First Goal Since Losing 19 Players in Plane Crash

Before today's game​, the three surviving players hoisted up the Copa Sudamericana.
January 21, 2017, 9:57pm

The Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense has been haunted by tragedy since the team's plane crashed in November, killing 19 players—nearly all of its squad. But today provided a bright spot for the rebuilding club, as they scored their first goal since the crash.

MAIS UM!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLL DA CHAAAAAPEEEE!!! AMARAL!#VamosChape
— Chapecoense (@ChapecoenseReal) January 21, 2017

The goal was scored against Palmeiras in a friendly by Brazilian Douglas Grolli, on loan to Chapecoense from Brazilian club Cruzeiro. The majority of Chapecoense's 22 new players are on loan, though they are also pulling from their youth squads. After the crash, several world class players, such as Ronaldinho, Riquelme, and Eidur Gudjohnsen, offered their services to play for the club.

The crash claimed the lives of 71 people, and three of the crash's six survivors are Capecoense players. They were in attendance for the home match at Arena Conda stadium in Chapeco, and hoisted the Copa Sudamericana before the game:

Chapecoense survivors lift the Copa Sudamericana. Champions. pic.twitter.com/i3EUMhhAjb
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) January 21, 2017

The flight carrying Chapecoense was on its way to play Atletico Nacional in Medellin for the Copa Sudamericana finals. On the day the Copa match was supposed to take place in December, Atletico Nacional held a vigil at the stadium. Later, Atletico Nacional asked if they could award the cup to Chapecoense in tribute, and CONMEBOL officially declared Chapecoense the winners in December. Chapecoense are currently the defending champions.