Pajtim Kasami scored his first Fulham goal as they beat a dominant Sunderland on the opening day of the season.

The Black Cats, with five debutants, were the better team throughout but Kasami headed home from close range for the only goal in the second half.

Ondrej Celustka had the hosts' best chance but his 25-yard shot was saved brilliantly by Maarten Stekelenburg.

The debutants

Sunderland

Ondrej Celustka - a right-back on loan from Trabzonspor

Valentin Roberge - a defender signed for free from Maritimo

Cabral - a midfielder signed for free from Basel

Emanuele Giaccherini - an attacking midfielder signed from Juventus for £6.5m

Jozy Altidore - a striker who joined for an undisclosed fee from AZ Alkmaar

Fulham

Maarten Stekelenburg - a goalkeeper signed for a reported £4m from Roma

Derek Boateng - a midfielder signed for free from Dnipro

Adel Taarabt - an attacking midfielder signed on loan from QPR

Ji Dong-Won could have rescued a point for Sunderland in the final minute but he headed Adam Johnson's cross wide.

Despite their win, the day ended on a worrying note for Fulham as £4m summer signing Stekelenburg came off injured and was replaced by David Stockdale.

Stekelenburg picked up a shoulder injury while denying Jozy Altidore, who was Sunderland's most lively debutant.

The United States striker, who moved from AZ Alkmaar this summer, caused Fulham's defence problems throughout. The 23-year-old looks to have bulked out since his teenage loan spell at Hull City, when he scored only one goal in 28 Premier League appearances.

But Sunderland failure to score will have caused some concern for manager Paolo Di Canio, who took over towards the end of last season and steered them to safety from relegation.

The Italian made 10 summer signings and named half of them in his starting line-up. Three of them had efforts in the opening minutes, with Altidore's shot being defected for a corner, before Emanuele Giaccherini blazed over and Cabral failed to beat Stekelenburg with two efforts.

Fulham's day did not start well as left-back Kieran Richardson came off with a hamstring injury within 20 minutes and had to replaced by Matthew Briggs.

Sunderland 0-1 Fulham: Paulo Di Canio says his players must learn

Sunderland were in the ascendency and right-back Celustka hit a wonderful half-volley from distance but Stekelenburg pulled off a great fingertip save to deny him.

The second half took the same pattern, with Adam Johnson curling a shot wide after a great counter-attack.

But they were made to pay for not scoring when Kasami lost Valentin Roberge to head home from close range at the far post from Damien Duff's corner - Fulham's first effort on target.

It was only a fourth Premier League start for 21-year-old midfielder Kasami, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Swiss side Lucerne.

Sunderland continued to push but Cabral, Johnson and Altidore all missed the target before substitute Ji squandered a great chance for a point when he headed wide.

Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio: "We played attractive football and dominated but in this country more than any other, set-pieces can cost points. It wasn't even an incredible challenge in the air.

"We played in their half for 80 minutes and delivered 30 balls into the opponents' area but didn't put the ball into the net. The only clear ball into our box cost a goal.

"I warned my players before - the players from abroad have to learn. I don't remember Keiren Westwood having the ball in his hands except when he was getting the ball from the net.

"If my players learn quickly why we lost the game, we will have a very good season."

Sunderland 0-1 Fulham: Martin Jol happy with 'perfect away result'

Fulham boss Martin Jol: "I think it was a perfect away result but not a perfect performance. We had to grind out the result. It was a very scrappy game for us.

"Sunderland put so many players up front - they had four attacking players. We didn't do well at times. We have to try to control the midfield - we didn't do that in the first half and couldn't keep the ball. Against an energetic Sunderland team... it was a bit easier than we thought, in hindsight.

"We showed good team spirit. Adel Taarabt had to play 90 minutes despite not having a pre-season, similar for Kasami and Briggs."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Sunderland

  • 20 Westwood
  • 12 Celustka (Wickham - 86' )
  • 14 Colback
  • 16 O'Shea
  • 29 Valentin
  • 06 Cabral
  • 07 Larsson
  • 11 Johnson
  • 23 Giaccherini
  • 17 Altidore
  • 28 Sessegnon (Ji Dong-Won - 72' )

Substitutes

  • 25 Mannone
  • 21 Diakite
  • 24 Cuellar
  • 22 El-Hadji Ba
  • 10 Wickham
  • 19 Karlsson
  • 27 Ji Dong-Won

Fulham

  • 01 Stekelenburg (Stockdale - 76' )
  • 05 Hangeland
  • 15 Richardson (Briggs - 20' )
  • 18 Hughes
  • 27 Riether
  • 07 Sidwell
  • 16 Duff Booked
  • 19 Taarabt
  • 23 Boateng Booked (Karagounis - 65' )
  • 08 Kasami
  • 09 Berbatov Booked

Substitutes

  • 13 Stockdale
  • 04 Senderos
  • 17 Briggs
  • 14 Karagounis
  • 10 Ruiz
  • 20 Rodallega
  • 39 Bent
Ref: Swarbrick
Att: 43,905

Match Stats

Shots

20 5

On target

3 1

Corners

6 1

Fouls

14 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:30 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +5:06

Clearance made by John O'Shea.

90:00 +4:39

Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.

90:00 +4:36

Free kick crossed by Sebastian Larsson.

90:00 +4:05

Unfair challenge on Emanuele Giaccherini by Sascha Riether results in a free kick.

90:00 +3:58

Clearance made by Aaron Hughes.

90:00 +3:33

Free kick taken by Adel Taarabt.

90:00 +2:58

Adilson Cabral concedes a free kick for a foul on Pajtim Kasami.

90:00 +2:45

Sebastian Larsson manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +2:41

Clearance by Brede Hangeland.

90:00 +2:37

Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the free kick.

90:00 +2:15

The referee cautions Damien Duff for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +2:15 Booking

Booking

90:00 +2:09

Foul by Damien Duff on Jack Colback, free kick awarded.

90:00 +1:05

The ball is crossed by Adam Johnson.

90:00 +0:40

Sascha Riether makes a clearance.

89:36

Header at goal by Dong-Won Ji to the left of the net.

89:34

The ball is delivered by Adam Johnson.

89:29

Clearance by Brede Hangeland.

89:26

Emanuele Giaccherini crosses the ball.

89:21

Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.

88:27

Clearance made by Adam Johnson.

87:49

Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.

87:46

Adam Johnson crosses the ball.

87:25

Clearance made by Aaron Hughes.

87:22

A cross is delivered by Adam Johnson.

87:08

Clearance made by Sascha Riether.

87:07

The ball is sent over by Jack Colback.

86:12

Free kick taken by Keiren Westwood.

86:03

Unfair challenge on Valentin Roberge by Pajtim Kasami results in a free kick.

85:31

Shot by Jozy Altidore. David Stockdale blocks the ball.

85:25

Free kick taken by Jack Colback.

85:15 Substitution

Substitution Connor Wickham on for Ondrej Celustka.

84:43

Dimitar Berbatov receives a yellow card for dissent.

84:43 Booking

Booking

84:32

Jack Colback fouled by Dimitar Berbatov, the ref awards a free kick.

84:04

Matthew Briggs restarts play with the free kick.

83:39

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ondrej Celustka on Matthew Briggs.

83:00

Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.

82:58

Emanuele Giaccherini produces a cross.

81:47

The ball is crossed by Emanuele Giaccherini.

81:08

Clearance made by Matthew Briggs.

79:05

The ball is crossed by Jozy Altidore.

78:27

Clearance by Emanuele Giaccherini.

78:27

Giorgos Karagounis takes the free kick.

78:06

Free kick awarded for a foul by Dong-Won Ji on Dimitar Berbatov.

75:49

Clearance by Ondrej Celustka.

75:04 Substitution

Substitution David Stockdale is brought on as a substitute for Maarten Stekelenburg.

72:43

Emanuele Giaccherini takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Aaron Hughes.

72:27

Clearance made by Jozy Altidore.

71:46

Clearance by Dimitar Berbatov.

71:15

Maarten Stekelenburg takes the free kick.

71:03 Substitution

Substitution Dong-Won Ji on for Stephane Sessegnon.

70:18

Maarten Stekelenburg restarts play with the free kick.

69:05

Sebastian Larsson challenges Giorgos Karagounis unfairly and gives away a free kick.

68:52

Jack Colback restarts play with the free kick.

68:39

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adilson Cabral by Steve Sidwell.

67:46

Pajtim Kasami manages to make a clearance.

67:45

Valentin Roberge manages to make a clearance.

65:58

Corner taken by Adam Johnson.

65:38

Jozy Altidore takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Sascha Riether.

65:25

Matthew Briggs takes a shot. Sebastian Larsson gets a block in.

65:14

Free kick taken by Giorgos Karagounis.

64:55

Foul by Adilson Cabral on Giorgos Karagounis, free kick awarded.

64:34 Substitution

Substitution (Fulham) makes a substitution, with Giorgos Karagounis coming on for Derek Boateng.

63:55

Jozy Altidore has an effort at goal and missed to the left of the net.

62:56

Adilson Cabral restarts play with the free kick.

62:46

Free kick awarded for a foul by Matthew Briggs on Ondrej Celustka.

62:12

Maarten Stekelenburg takes the free kick.

61:40

Strike on goal comes in from Adam Johnson from the free kick. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.

60:33

Brede Hangeland challenges Jozy Altidore unfairly and gives away a free kick.

59:11

Clearance made by Aaron Hughes.

59:10

Emanuele Giaccherini crosses the ball.

58:58

Clearance by Brede Hangeland.

58:47

Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.

58:45

Adam Johnson crosses the ball.

58:36

Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.

58:03

Pajtim Kasami makes a clearance.

58:02

Ondrej Celustka sends in a cross.

57:13

Ondrej Celustka manages to make a clearance.

56:46

Shot by Adam Johnson went wide right of the post.

56:43

Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.

54:42

Adilson Cabral has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the net.

54:38

Jack Colback produces a cross.

54:26

Adam Johnson delivers the ball.

54:13

Clearance made by Brede Hangeland.

53:08

Clearance made by Emanuele Giaccherini.

51:57

Assist on the goal came from Damien Duff.

51:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Pajtim Kasami - Sunderland 0 - 1 Fulham Pajtim Kasami grabs a goal with a headed effort. Sunderland 0-1 Fulham.

51:52

Corner taken by Damien Duff.

51:23

Clearance by Valentin Roberge.

51:22

The ball is delivered by Dimitar Berbatov.

51:10

Steve Sidwell takes the free kick.

50:56

Ondrej Celustka challenges Steve Sidwell unfairly and gives away a free kick.

50:27

Adam Johnson takes a shot and went wide left of the goal.

50:11

John O'Shea makes a clearance.

50:07

Centre by Matthew Briggs.

49:54

Clearance by Valentin Roberge.

48:37

Keiren Westwood takes the free kick.

48:12

Pajtim Kasami gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ondrej Celustka.

47:56

Free kick taken by Maarten Stekelenburg.

46:59

Aaron Hughes fouled by Jozy Altidore, the ref awards a free kick.

46:03

Emanuele Giaccherini produces a cross.

45:22

Sascha Riether takes the free kick.

45:09

Jack Colback concedes a free kick for a foul on Damien Duff.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +1:09 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

45:00 +0:47

Adel Taarabt produces a cross.

45:00 +0:32

Clearance by Ondrej Celustka.

45:00 +0:08

Clearance by Matthew Briggs.

44:45

Adel Taarabt shoots direct from the free kick. Blocked by Sebastian Larsson.

43:57

Adilson Cabral concedes a free kick for a foul on Adel Taarabt.

42:29

Derek Boateng restarts play with the free kick.

42:19

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steve Sidwell by Adilson Cabral.

41:43

Header by Adilson Cabral misses right.

41:40

Emanuele Giaccherini delivers the ball.

41:07

Clearance made by Brede Hangeland.

41:06

Sascha Riether makes a clearance.

39:16

A cross is delivered by Adam Johnson.

39:00

Matthew Briggs manages to make a clearance.

38:59

A cross is delivered by Stephane Sessegnon.

38:23

Sascha Riether restarts play with the free kick.

38:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jack Colback on Dimitar Berbatov.

37:28

Adam Johnson crosses the ball in from the free kick.

36:59

Stephane Sessegnon fouled by Matthew Briggs, the ref awards a free kick.

36:46

Derek Boateng manages to make a clearance.

36:45

Corner taken by Adam Johnson.

36:29

Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.

36:20

Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson.

35:49

Emanuele Giaccherini takes a shot and went wide of the left-hand upright.

35:43

Corner from the right by-line taken by Adam Johnson.

35:10

Ondrej Celustka has an effort at goal. A parry by Maarten Stekelenburg prevents the goal.

33:03

Emanuele Giaccherini takes a shot. Maarten Stekelenburg safely holds on.

31:18

Jack Colback crosses the ball.

29:56

Clearance made by Pajtim Kasami.

29:33

Clearance made by Brede Hangeland.

27:04

John O'Shea manages to make a clearance.

26:29

Valentin Roberge restarts play with the free kick.

26:06

Unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon by Derek Boateng results in a free kick.

26:02

Steve Sidwell has an effort at goal. Sebastian Larsson gets a block in.

26:00

Derek Boateng restarts play with the free kick.

25:31

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Pajtim Kasami by Adilson Cabral.

24:59

Shot by Adilson Cabral missed to the left of the target.

24:20

Clearance made by Brede Hangeland.

24:17

Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line.

23:47

Clearance by Steve Sidwell.

23:45

Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball.

23:42

Sebastian Larsson shoots direct from the free kick. Adel Taarabt gets a block in.

22:46

Derek Boateng is shown a yellow card for persistent infringement.

22:46 Booking

Booking

22:38

Emanuele Giaccherini fouled by Derek Boateng, the ref awards a free kick.

22:31

Clearance made by Damien Duff.

21:57

Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.

20:23

Adilson Cabral takes a shot. Damien Duff gets a block in.

19:48

Derek Boateng manages to make a clearance.

19:45

Clearance made by Brede Hangeland.

19:43

Emanuele Giaccherini produces a cross.

19:35

Sascha Riether makes a clearance.

19:33

Derek Boateng makes a clearance.

19:08 Substitution

Substitution Kieran Richardson leaves the field to be replaced by Matthew Briggs.

17:24

Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot and missed to the right of the net.

17:24

Sebastian Larsson restarts play with the free kick.

17:03

Jack Colback fouled by Derek Boateng, the ref awards a free kick.

16:29

Sebastian Larsson takes the free kick.

16:11

Jozy Altidore fouled by Derek Boateng, the ref awards a free kick.

13:38

Clearance made by Ondrej Celustka.

13:36

The ball is crossed by Kieran Richardson.

13:30

Steve Sidwell restarts play with the free kick.

13:10

Unfair challenge on Pajtim Kasami by John O'Shea results in a free kick.

12:49

Clearance by Brede Hangeland.

12:45

Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.

11:50

Jozy Altidore manages to make a clearance.

11:12

Damien Duff manages to make a clearance.

11:10

Valentin Roberge manages to make a clearance.

10:27

John O'Shea makes a clearance.

10:25

A cross is delivered by Damien Duff.

10:09

Valentin Roberge manages to make a clearance.

10:06

Free kick crossed by Adel Taarabt.

9:32

Unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt by Adilson Cabral results in a free kick.

8:49

Shot by Pajtim Kasami. Valentin Roberge gets a block in.

8:44

The ball is sent over by Kieran Richardson.

8:23

Valentin Roberge makes a clearance.

7:20

Jack Colback takes the free kick.

7:16

Foul by Pajtim Kasami on Jack Colback, free kick awarded.

7:05

Clearance made by Sebastian Larsson.

6:21

Ondrej Celustka makes a clearance.

5:47

Adilson Cabral takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the left of the goal.

5:26

Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.

5:24

Emanuele Giaccherini sends in a cross.

5:11

Maarten Stekelenburg takes the free kick.

1:25

Emanuele Giaccherini takes a shot and missed to the right of the goal.

1:20

Corner taken by Adam Johnson from the right by-line.

0:55

Shot by Jozy Altidore. Steve Sidwell gets a block in.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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