Belgium, the highest ranked side coming into the Euro 2016, dominated for long spells of the Group E clash against Italy at the Stade de Lyon but lacked the clinical finish in front of goal
Reports in the British media suggest Sunderland's players were unhappy with the outspoken Di Canio's methods, but the club chief executive Margaret Byrne said he was removed purely to improve the club's chances of staying up.
Di Canio became the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season.
Sunderland had taken an early lead through new signing Emanuele Giaccherini and Paolo Di Canio's side looked set to claim their first win of the season until Fonte met James Ward-Prowse's free-kick with a downward header that goalkeeper Keiren Westwood could not keep out.
Meanwhile, Di Canio says South Korea striker Ji Dong-Won should return to training soon despite missing Wednesday night's friendly against Danish side FC Midtjylland.
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio on Friday described it as "a killer pitch" while Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas saw key defender Jan Vertonghen taken off on a stretcher on Wednesday after injuring his ankle playing there.
The firebrand Italian, who replaced Martin O'Neill towards the end of last season, kept the Black Cats in the Premier League but faced criticism for his no-nonsense handling of his players and his strict training regime.
Di Canio, whose side play Manchester City on Saturday in the final of the Hong Kong exhibition tournament, was also scathing about the dire state of the pitch. "It's obvious that I couldn't imagine this kind of weather," the famously feisty Italian said.
The 28-year-old has earned lavish praise from fellow a Italian and his current coach at Sunderland.
Di Canio, who took over Sunderland near the end of last season and kept them in the Premier League, has courted controversy with his hardline approach.
The 28-year-old Giaccherini has agreed to a deal with the Premier League club after winning back-to-back Serie A titles with Juventus.
Meanwhile, Juventus have signed 25-year-old international central defender Angelo Ogbonna from Turin rivals Torino for a fee reported to be in the region of 15 million euros ($19.5 million).
Mannone is expected to provide cover for Republic of Ireland international Keiren Westwood, but he said he would not be content with a place on the bench.
Sunderland narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League last season, finishing one place above the bottom three.
Di Canio's arrival at the Stadium of Light provoked a maelstrom of controversy due to political statements he had made in the past, and forced him to release a statement in which he said he does "not support the ideology of fascism".
After David Vaughan sealed victory with a sweving shot from the angle of the box in the 82nd, a buoyant Di Canio joined a group team hug - his passion and spirit clearly transferring to his players in a hard-fought northeast derby win at St James' Park.
Local police have now instructed Newcastle fans not to make references to the controversy when the teams meet at St James' Park on Sunday.
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has told Paolo Di Canio's critics to lay off the new Sunderland manager after the controversy over the Italian's political views overshadowed his first week at the Stadium of Light.