Japan humble China in opener
© AFP

China's Asian Games got off to a miserable start today when they were humbled 3-0 by bitter rivals Japan in their opening game of the football tournament.

The host nation are the perennial underachievers of regional football and they were outplayed before a large crowd at the Tianhe Stadium, although many left early.

The writing was on the wall when Ryohei Yamazaki bundled the ball over the line after ten minutes, with China immediately put on the back foot.

They held on till half-time before Kensuke Nagai picked up a loose ball in the penalty area and buried it in the net on 58 minutes.

China were stunned and Daisuke Suzuki put the game beyond their reach six minutes later to seal an impressive win for Japan.

It leaves the hosts with a big job ahead to qualify from Group A after Malaysia earlier beat Kyrgyzstan 2-1.