3/25/2019 1:42:27 PM

Cannavaro tastes defeat again as shot-shy China lose to Uzbeks

Cannavaro tastes defeat again as shot-shy China lose to Uzbeks

Shanghai, China: Fabio Cannavaro's difficult start to life as China coach continued as the disjointed hosts were deservedly beaten 1-0 by lower-ranked Uzbekistan on Monday. 

China followed up Thursday's 1-0 home loss to Thailand with another wretched display in the four-team China Cup, and have now failed to score in two games under the World Cup winner.

The 45-year-old legendary defender, who succeeded mentor and fellow Italian Marcello Lippi, is already under pressure from a Chinese public long disenchanted with their national side.

In front of a sparse crowd for the mid-afternoon match in Nanning, China failed to muster a shot on target and there was a smattering of jeers at the final whistle.

Cannavaro, who for the moment is also in charge at Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande, made five changes to the side lucky to lose by just one goal to Thailand.

The wholesale changes only made China -- missing the rested Espanyol forward Wu Lei -- less effective.

They were already on the back foot when forward Eldor Shomurodov took advantage of hesitant defending by Evergrande's Zhang Linpeng on 35 minutes to lash the ball into the roof of the net for Uzbekistan, who are 89th in the FIFA rankings to China's 72nd.

Uzbekistan, soundly defeated 3-0 by Uruguay on Friday, were also the better team in the second half and should have extended their lead, but China-based substitute Odil Ahmedov headed straight at goalkeeper Yan Junling. 

The meek defeat leaves China, who have grand ambitions to host a World Cup and become a major footballing force, bottom of the four sides in the China Cup.

Uruguay and Thailand play later Monday in the final of the annual mini-tournament.

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