Chapecoense continue miraculous resurrection with Caterinense title

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The second half of the state championship was dominated by the tragic side, who will now play Avai for the chance to win the league outright

Chapecoense continued their fight back from tragedy on Sunday as they won the second stage of Santa Catarina's state championship. 

The Brazilian side saw almost their entire first-team perish in a harrowing plane crash back in 2016, as they travelled to take on Atletico Nacional for the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final in Medellin. 

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In a wonderful gesture of solidarity Nacional insisted their opponents be awarded the title, while many Brazilian teams offered free loan players in order to rebuild the shattered squad. 

And just 137 days after disaster struck, a 2-0 victory over Joinville has seen Chape crowned champions of the local tournament, named after late club president Sandro Pallaoro who was among the crash's 73 victims. 

Having finished second to Avai in the first half of the Catarinense, the side went one better by lifting the title on Sunday with one game to spare. 

The side drew their first game and recorded victories in the next seven, and will now have the chance to lift the Santa Catarina Championship outright if they beat Avai in a two-legged final scheduled for May. 

Chapecoense have won the Catarinense five times in their history, and are currently the defending champions having prevailed in 2016.

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