Alex Teixeira's double hands Fabio Capello, Jiangsu Suning a winning start
Alex Teixeira scored twice, including one with the help of VAR, as Fabio Capello's Jiangsu Suning made a winning start to the Chinese Super League with a 3-1 victory over Guizhou Hengfeng on Sunday evening.
Jiangsu fought a season-long battle against relegation in 2017 after finishing as runners-up in the league and cup the previous year, but Capello's team showed they are back on track to challenge for the title with the win in Guiyang.
Teixeira put his side in front with just eight minutes on the clock when he cut inside the defence to smash home a curling shot that gave goalkeeper Su Boyang no chance.
Five minutes later, Jiangsu doubled their lead when Huang Zhichang steered his glancing header home, only for Babcar Trawallay to pull one back for Guizhou when he volleyed in after a quickly taken free kick.
Guizhou pushed for the equaliser, but it was Jiangsu who claimed a decisive third 10 minutes from time as Teixeira evaded the offside trap before rounding Su and scoring into an empty net. After initially being called offside, the VAR review led to the goal being reinstated.
"It was an exciting game and I'm very satisfied with the performance on the pitch, especially from the young players," Capello said. "They demonstrated their worth and the result is also very good.
"We had the chance to score more goals, but most of all, I'm satisfied with the performances of the young players."
Beijing Guoan, meanwhile, endured a disappointing start to their campaign as Roger Schmidt's side suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Shandong Luneng.
The capital club are expected to mount a serious challenge this season after making several big money acquisitions, including striker Cedric Bakambu and midfielder Jonathan Veira.
But it was Shandong who shone, with Brazilian striker Diego Tardelli celebrating the start of his fourth season with the club with a first-half brace before Wu Jinghan completed the win five minutes from time.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch