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 Fans pay tribute to the city of Medellin and team Atletico Nacional at the end of the first leg of the final of the Recopa Sudamericana in the Arena Condá de Chapecó in Brazil. Photo: EFE
Fans pay tribute to the city of Medellin and team Atletico Nacional at the end of the first leg of the final of the Recopa Sudamericana in the Arena Condá de Chapecó in Brazil. Photo: EFE

Flashback: Chapecoense and Atletico Nacional finally meet for the Championship

The cinderella team from Brazil finally goes to the big dance against Colombia's Atletico Nacional for the Recopa Sudamericana!

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The first leg of the Recopa Sudamericana took place this week amidst being a highly emotional match for Brazil’s team Chapecoense after losing all but three members of their futbol team in a plane crash last year outside of Medellin, Colombia.

The home team scored first in the 23rd minute when Reinaldo scored from the penalty area. Atletico Nacional scored the equalizer with a goal from Macnelly Torres before the 60th minute.  Luiz Otavio scored the winning goal at the 73rd minute of the match.

In the end it was not the final score that mattered but the different tributes that both teams paid to their fallen futbol brethren.  The Copa Sudamericana is South America’s most prestigious futbol titles.

Atletico Nacional, who won the 2016 Copa Liberatores and were scheduled to play against Chapecoense for the Copa Sudamericana title. In a show of respect, Nacional requested that Chapecoense be awarded the title that set up this rematch.

Chapeco had a series of tributes both inside and outside their Arena Conda stadium, where the funerals of the players took place a few months ago.  In the stadium, the mayors of Chapeco and Medellin embraced each other in what fans viewed as a show of appreciation and gratitude.

During the 71st minute, the crowd illuminated their phones and sang in unison “Vamos, Vamos Chape” or “Lets go Chape”. It is a tribute that has been ongoing since the tragedy.  The crowd sang a song thanking Colombians for their response to the accident, including the medical and rescue teams that were at the crash site.

The second leg of the Recopa Sudamericana will be played on May 10th at the Atanasio Girardot Stadium in Medellin, Colombia.

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