Sunderland were forced to pay for not taking their chances as Fulham claimed a narrow 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
The hosts dominated proceedings from the outset and had a number of good goalscoring opportunities through striker Jozy Altidore, but the visitors only needed one chance as Pajtim Kasami headed home from a corner in the second half.
Paolo Di Canio was without suspended duo Craig Gardner and David Vaughan for the opening fixture, while Steven Fletcher was forced to miss out with the ankle injury that ended his previous campaign in March.
But the Italian coach was able to hand debuts to five of his 10 summer signings, including striker Altidore, Emanuele Giaccherini and Cabral.
Meanwhile, Alexander Kacaniklic was the only notable absentee for Martin Jol, after he picked up a hamstring injury during July’s 1-0 pre-season defeat to Werder Bremen.
USA international Altidore looked dangerous from the outset and caused a number of problems for Fulham debutant Derek Boateng, who picked up an early yellow card after a string of fouls.
Cabral also made a bright start to the game and looked to impress the Sunderland fans with some long-range efforts, with his second shot flying a few inches wide of the post in the 25th minute.
Sunderland created the most chances during the opening exchanges and, after Altidore went close to connecting with a Jack Colback cross in the six-yard box, the hosts really started to test Maarten Stekelenburg.
Giaccherini fired a powerful 25-yard effort straight at the Fulham goalkeeper, before Ondrej Celustka forced Stekelenburg into a brilliant finger-tip save with a fierce half-volley from distance.
The hosts could not convert their dominance into goals, however, as the sides headed in at the break goalless.
And Sunderland were made to pay for their wastefulness as Fulham went on to score from their first real chance of the game after the interval.
Kasami towered above Valentin Roberge at the back post to nod home a corner from Damien Duff in the 53rd minute, claiming his first Fulham goal since joining from Palermo in 2011.
But the hosts rallied after going behind and both Adam Johnson and Altidore continued to cause problems for the Fulham backline.
Altidore produced an excellent turn on the edge of the area but dragged his effort wide, before failing to convert Giaccherini's deflected shot from close range in the 75th minute.
The striker injured Stekelenburg's shoulder in the process and the goalkeeper had to be replaced by David Stockdale, which ruled out a late debut for Aston Villa loanee Darren Bent.
Sunderland desperately tried to find an equaliser during the closing stages and substitute Ji Dong-Won went extremely close with a header from a brilliant Johnson cross.
But despite five minutes of injury time, Di Canio's men failed to find the net and suffered defeat on the first day of the new season.
|Coach: P. Di Canio|
for S. Sessègnon 72'
for O. Celustka 86'
|Begiristain confident despite tough group for City|
|West Ham 0 Astra 1 (1-2 agg): Romanian minnows embarrass Hammers again|
|Hammers sign Swiss midfielder Fernandes|
|Humble Ronaldo hails team-mates following UEFA award|
|Krul joins Ajax on loan after signing new Newcastle deal|
|Leicester underdogs again in Champions League - Ranieri|
|Bale gunning for Champions League glory in Cardiff|
|Juventus additions strengthen Champions League bid - Marotta|
|Tuchel relishing ´classic´ Madrid Champions League encounter|
|Changed Burnley determined to survive|
|Ronaldo named UEFA Best Player in Europe for second time|
|Champions League draw in full|
|Guardiola handed Barca return with City in Champions League|
|Guidolin calls on Swansea to avenge Leicester thrashings|
|Eduardo completes Chelsea switch|
|Not easy to see Higuain at Juve - Cannavaro|
|Puel insists Fonte focused on Southampton|
|Ranieri knows Leicester are wanted men in Champions League|
|Puel backs Forster to take England chance|
|Cannavaro questions Juve´s European credentials after Pogba exit|
|Milan: Romagnoli not for sale, despite Chelsea bid|
|´Nobody more exciting than Michail Antonio´ - West Ham chairman|
|Pochettino prioritising transfers over new deals|
|Bravo completes Manchester City switch|
|No Barcelona bid for Mariano, insist Sevilla|
|Rashford drops down to England Under-21 squad|
|Koeman: No Everton interest in Hart|
|Ancelotti has it all - Ballack|
|Nolito eager for Champions League challenge|
|Evra dropped from France squad|
|Oliver Torres agrees Porto return|
|Ancelotti sees no need for Bayern revolution|
|Messi´s Roma goal wins UEFA award|
|Maradona questions Messi U-turn|
|Napoli pledge funds to earthquake victims|
|Hughes confirms Stoke interest in Manchester United defender Jones|
|Bentaleb completes Schalke switch|
|Klopp: Balotelli decision not imminent|
|Manquillo makes Sunderland move|
|Barca complete Cillessen signing|
|Hummels surprised by criticism from Dortmund fans|
|Blatter will accept CAS ruling|
|I do not want Sturridge as a wide player, insists Klopp|
|Schalke close in on Bentaleb and Stambouli|
|Wanted man Sukur denounces coup|
|´Everyone knows my best position´ - Sturridge unhappy at wide role|
|Villa says Alcacer ´knows what to do´ amid Barcelona links|
|Solo ´saddened´ by United States axing|
|Drinkwater signs new Leicester deal|
|Spanish clubs dominate as history beckons for Ancelotti - the Champions League in numbers|
|Lopes sets sights on Lille silverware and Portugal breakthrough|
|´A scholar and a monster´ - Surgeon hails ´unique´ Ronaldo|
|MLS Review: Altidore scores as Toronto move top in east, Galaxy rally|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Tigres win, Dallas held|
|Victory lure Rojas back to Melbourne|
|Chaplow suspended two games for verbal abuse, denies homophobia|
|Eduardo farewells Dinamo Zagreb amid Chelsea speculation|
|Zidane shoud give James more respect - Asprilla|
|Solo suspended from USA women´s team for six months|
|Guardiola understands fans unhappiness over Hart situation|
|Burnley and Middlesbrough sent packing from League Cup|
|Coleman baffled by Ramsey´s treatment at Arsenal|
|Six of the best for Gladbach as Rostov rout Ajax|
|Leicester face Chelsea, Northampton host United in League Cup third round|
|Cillessen set to fly out to Barca to complete move|
|Guardiola hails ´legend´ Hart as Bravo wait in the wings|
|Emotional Hart edges towards City exit|
|Manchester City 1 Steaua Bucharest 0 (6-0 agg): City ease through amid Hart-felt goodbyes|
|Ronaldo working hard for Madrid return|
|Pique warns of European Super League dangers|
|AFC Champions League: Damjanovic inspires Seoul, Wanderley puts Al Nasr in charge|
|Rauball re-elected as German league president|
|Cillessen returns for Ajax despite Barcelona talk|
|Surgery for Pereira after De Rossi horror challenge|
|Hart set for City farewell against Steaua|
|CAF Champions League Review: Wydad draw at ZESCO to earn top spot|
|Retiring Keane in Republic of Ireland squad for final time|
|Sion in talks to sign Liverpool outcast Balotelli, claims club president|
|Athletic´s Laporte not distracted by Barcelona visit|
|Keane announces international retirement|
|Clarke named FA chairman|
|Neuer: Schweinsteiger remains one of world´s best|
|Bielsa would call me before coming to Marseille - Passi|
|Watford bring in Janmaat from Newcastle|
|FIFA opens adjudicatory proceedings against disgraced African football officials|
|European Super League could cause ´war´|
|Sampdoria pounce for Praet|
|Zaza agent confirms Napoli talks but rules out loan move|
|No Grigg in Northern Ireland´s World Cup qualifying squad|
|Cahill reflects on ´amazing´ Melbourne City debut|
|Europa League must take priority, Recoba tells Inter|
|Saint-Etienne swoop for Saivet and Veretout|
|Ronaldo: Pepe was the best player at the Euros, not Griezmann|
|Schweinsteiger: Manchester United my last club in Europe|
|Dante sees Nice as a positive move|
|Pique: Barcelona by far the best in Spain|
|Pique backs Stones for success under Pep|
|Coleman dismisses Premier League talk|
|Spurs want Calhanoglu, claims agent|
|Bony an ´option´ for Bilic|
|Leverkusen cannot challenge Bayern, says Ballack|
|Pallotta blasts ´disgusting´ referee after Roma defeat|
|Badstuber taking his time after injury nightmare|
|Conte: Terry return between him and Allardyce|
|We beat Bayern to Dembele - Watzke|
|Wanderers bring back Bulut|
|Moyes rules out Kone exit|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Whitecaps, Pachuca win big|
|Bale: I´ll never forget this year|
|Griezmann: I deserve Best Player in Europe Award|
|No surgery for Ayew as West Ham target December return|
|Villarreal did all they could to make it through - Escriba|
|Spalletti rues lack of Roma discipline|
|Conte: Chelsea must learn to kill matches|
|Watford and West Brom crash out of League Cup|
|My longest 90 minutes as a coach - Rodgers|