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Chinese Super League

Alexandre Pato the villain as Tianjin Quanjian lose CSL opener to Guangzhou R&F

Fabio Cannavaro’s star-studded Tianjin Quanjian side endured a difficult start to the 2017 Chinese Super League season with a 2-0 defeat away to Guangzhou R&F, with goals from Xiao Jie and Renatinho.

R&F, who lost several key figures over the winter, banished any doubt over their ability to resist the likes of Alexandre Pato, Geuvanio and Axel Witsel with a performance of strong defensive organisation.

At the other end, Xiao Zhi headed home having been left unmarked from a first-half free-kick before Renatinho added a second after the break following a horrendous goal-kick from China’s most expensive goalkeeper Zhang Lu.

Fabio Cannavaro’s side had their chances after the break, with Brazilian Pato missing four golden opportunities to bring his side back into the game. On each occasion, the former AC Milan hitman either failed to find the target or fired straight at Cheng Yuelei in the R&F net.

For R&F, Eran Zahavi was also guilty of a glaring miss with the goal at his mercy late in the game. For Dragan Stojkovic’s side, though, the result was already secure.

Based in Guangzhou, Christopher covers Chinese football for a range of media outlets worldwide and is Wild East Football's lead editor for news content.   His work can regularly be seen on ESPN FC, Bleacher Report and Hupu amongst other media outlets, while he has interviewed a number of leading figures in Chinese football.

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