Colombian players hailed as heroes in Brazil after air crash


8:05 p.m. ET April 3, 2017

CHAPECO, Brazil (AP) — Fans of Brazilian club Chapecoense have greeted their rivals from Colombia’s Atletico Nacional with open arms and genuine gratitude ahead of their first meeting to decide a South American trophy, a moment that had previously been denied the teams after an air crash killed 71 people four months ago, including 19 members of the Southern Brazilian side.

Chapecoense and Nacional will play on Tuesday in Chapeco, a city of 200,000 residents, for the first leg of the Recopa Sudamericana. The final is contested between the winners of the prestigious Copa Libertadores, won by the Colombians in 2016, and the Copa Sudamericana champions.

Both teams were supposed to play at…

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