Fans have now seen the home side lose its opening game

of the China Cup in three consecutive years-2-0 to Iceland at the inaugural

edition in 2017, and 6-0 to Wales last year.

Thursday’s defeat-the first test of newly appointed coach Fabio Canna

varo who is also helming CSL side Guangzhou Evergrande-was harder to swallow bec

ause Team China had defeated Thailand in the round of 16 at the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates in January.

The 45-year-old Caannavaro, who took over from compatriot Marcello Lippi last week, has made headlines and triggered controversy because of the dual club-and-country role.

“China now has the financial power to bring the best coach to manage its team, but that cannot bring any improvement overnight,” Cannavaro said after the loss.

“You need to set up a sustainable system in order to develop soccer over the long term.

“China cannot improve with only good tactics. I found that problem during this year’s Asian Cup. And what I saw tonight confirmed my judgment.”

qianpbd.com