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Brazilian team Chapecoense debuts in Libertadores Cup

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Brazilian team Chapecoense debuts in Libertadores Cup

Chapecoense players training in Venezuela before their Tuesday match against Zulia FC (06/3/17).Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Chapecoense hope a victory will help them recover from the disaster

Chapecoense, the Brazilian football team which lost most of their squad in an air crash in November, will play their first international match since the accident.

They face Zulia in the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo in the first stage match of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s main regional tournament.

Tuesday’s match will be Chapecoense’s debut in the competition.

The club only won promotion to Brazil’s top division in 2014.

But they surprised everyone when they reached the final of the Copa Sudamericana last year.

They were on their way to the first leg of that match when the plane went down near the Colombian city of Medellin; 71 people, including 19 players and staff, were killed.

Only six people on board survived, including three players: goalkeeper Jackson Follmann, defender Neto and winger Alan Ruschel.

Chapecoense have included Neto and Ruschel in their squad for Tuesday’s match.

They hope victory in the Copa Libertadores will help them recover from the disaster.