The Chinese Super League side lost the opening leg of their round of 16 tie with Seongnam FC 2-1, but they bounced back in fine style on Wednesday to beat their South Korean opponents 2-0 and book their spot in the last eight.
What made the victory particularly pleasing for Cannavaro is the fact that he was without the services of key players in the form of Elkeson, Alan and Kim Young-gwon, while Zhang Linpeng was forced off the field after just five minutes of the second leg.
“We had to play this match without Alan, Elkeson, Kim Young-gwon and then we lost Zhang early on and yet we still achieved the victory – so this result is fantastic for us,” said Cannavaro.
“Ricardo Goulart is an extraordinary player, but I would like to show my appreciation for the rest of the players in the side because, in the absence of the four key players I mentioned, they had a lot of responsibility to perform and they were able to achieve a great victory.
“Two years ago we were the Asian champions and we have rich experiences from then. Despite the personnel change since then what made us really strong is still there, the spirit of the team.
“So, in difficult times, we can all upon that spirit and unity and still be the best team in China."