James was given no chance as Zamora profited from a lucky deflection
Portsmouth failed to put a summer of turmoil behind them as they slipped to an opening day defeat against Fulham.
The south coast club have seen several players leave and a proposed takeover fronted by billionaire Sulaiman Al Fahim has yet to be finalised.
They started brightly, but went behind to a fortuitous goal as Clint Dempsey's shot deflected in off Bobby Zamora.
Pompey had several chances to level but failed to seriously test Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
This time last season Pompey fans were full of optimism, looking forward to their first foray into Europe after winning the FA Cup.
Hodgson keen to build on winning start
But with the cloud of Al Fahim's drawn-out takeover hanging over the club and the void left by the summer departures of Sol Campbell, Peter Crouch, Glen Johnson and Sean Davis, survival in the Premier League - not a place in Europe - is the number one priority for Paul Hart's side this campaign.
Not that they started against Fulham in a way that suggests the club is in disarray.
Lyon loanee Frederic Piquionne, one of only three summer additions to a threadbare squad, proved to be a handful for a Fulham defence that included Arsenal target Brede Hangeland, and the French striker narrowly headed over early on.
However, it was Roy Hodgson's side who took the lead, albeit with an element of fortune.
Zamora, who had looked set to leave the club after Fulham recently accepted a £5m bid from Hull, knew little when Dempsey's effort from 20 yards cannoned off his hip and into the bottom left-hand corner with David James stranded.
For all Portsmouth's effort and endeavour Fulham always looked comfortable and moments later James had to be alert to turn Zamora's header over the bar.
Pompey lacked a cutting edge to seriously hurt the visitors and Nadir Belhadj completely missed his header from five yards when unmarked and Piquionne saw his shot blocked by Hangeland.
Portsmouth struggled to draw a save from Schwarzer in the second half as Younes Kaboul and Niko Kranjcar both fired over.
Fulham stepped it up as the half wore on and Johnson had a glorious chance to put the game beyond doubt, but the unmarked striker somehow skewed his shot wide with only the keeper to beat.
Hart downcast after Pompey loss
The hosts threw on strikers Kanu and David Nugent in the closing stages in a desperate attempt to salvage a point, but they still could not find the target with Kaboul and Aaron Mokoena both misfiring from distance.
Nugent perhaps had the best chance to rescue a point in the final minute but the former Preston man followed the lead of his team-mates by shooting over from eight yards.
Pompey can take heart from the fact that this was just the first game of the season but, unless a takeover is completed quickly and funds made available to Hart, it could prove to be a long few months for the club's supporters.
Portsmouth manager Paul Hart: "We're very disappointed with the result, but we did enough to get at least a point.
"We had 15 shots and troubled the keeper once, so there's the answer to that one.
"I think we're better than that but it's a good sign that we're creating those chances and the performance overall was not bad at all."
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson: "It's nice to kick off the campaign with three points. In this league the points are so important and when you're leading and have a chance to get them it's important that you don't concede.
"The goal was very fortuitous. I think we were a bit lucky but it was a nice piece of football, a good turn and strike from Clint Dempsey and luckily Bobby was in the right position to steer it in.
"Of course it was a lucky goal but I think we had two or three other occasions where we should have scored."
86:05 Substitution David Nugent comes on in place of John Utaka.
83:37 Corner from the right by-line taken by Nadir Belhadj, Younes Kaboul has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes
wide left of the target.
83:31 A cross is delivered by Frederic Piquionne, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.
81:58 Close range headed effort by Younes Kaboul goes wide of the left-hand upright.
81:51 Nadir Belhadj crosses the ball, save by Mark Schwarzer.
81:12 The ball is sent over by Frederic Piquionne, Paul Konchesky gets a block in. Corner taken by Nadir Belhadj played to the near
post, clearance by Zoltan Gera.
78:32 Substitution Erik Nevland replaces Bobby Zamora.
78:32 Foul by Zoltan Gera on Niko Kranjcar, free kick awarded. Shot on goal comes in from Niko Kranjcar from the free kick, Danny
Murphy gets a block in. Aaron Mokoena has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.
78:05 Corner taken by Niko Kranjcar from the left by-line played to the near post, John Pantsil manages to make a clearance.
77:21 Clinton Dempsey produces a right-footed shot from long range which goes wide right of the goal.
76:54 Brede Hangeland fouled by Frederic Piquionne, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
76:31 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrew Johnson on Sylvain Distin. Nadir Belhadj takes the free kick.
75:31 Indirect free kick taken by David James.
75:31 Substitution Papa Bouba Diop leaves the field to be replaced by Nwankwo Kanu.
75:31 Andrew Johnson is caught offside.
74:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Mokoena on Clinton Dempsey. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
71:16 Papa Bouba Diop delivers the ball, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
67:25 Aaron Mokoena gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dickson Etuhu.
67:20 Danny Murphy crosses the ball, Headed effort from inside the area by Bobby Zamora misses to the left of the goal.
67:20 Booking Booking for Aaron Mokoena for unsporting behaviour.
66:33 Free kick awarded for a foul by John Pantsil on Niko Kranjcar. Sylvain Distin takes the free kick.
63:46 Marc Wilson challenges Andrew Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
63:06 Effort on goal by Andrew Johnson from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
61:45 Shot by Niko Kranjcar from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.
59:55 Corner taken left-footed by Nadir Belhadj, clearance made by Clinton Dempsey.
59:11 Unfair challenge on Sylvain Distin by Bobby Zamora results in a free kick. David James restarts play with the free kick.
57:02 The referee blows for offside against Andrew Johnson. Free kick taken by David James.
55:32 The ball is crossed by Frederic Piquionne.
54:43 Foul by Paul Konchesky on John Utaka, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Marc Wilson.
52:05 The referee blows for offside against Andrew Johnson. David James takes the indirect free kick.
51:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Mokoena by Dickson Etuhu. Direct free kick taken by Marc Wilson.
51:00 Shot from just outside the area by Danny Murphy goes over the bar.
50:41 Corner taken by Paul Konchesky, clearance by Frederic Piquionne.
50:36 The ball is crossed by Paul Konchesky, Papa Bouba Diop manages to make a clearance.
49:52 Outswinging corner taken by Danny Murphy from the right by-line, clearance by Papa Bouba Diop.
47:35 The ball is swung over by Frederic Piquionne, Papa Bouba Diop has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the
left of the goal.
45:27 Frederic Piquionne is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+1:15 The referee blows for half time.
45:00+0:24 Aaron Hughes takes the direct free kick.
45:00+0:24 Booking Papa Bouba Diop is given a yellow card.
45:00+0:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Papa Bouba Diop on Danny Murphy.
44:08 Paul Konchesky produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
42:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Mokoena by Bobby Zamora. Younes Kaboul takes the free kick.
41:12 Unfair challenge on Nadir Belhadj by Zoltan Gera results in a free kick. Sylvain Distin takes the direct free kick.
40:59 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Frederic Piquionne by Brede Hangeland. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Mokoena.
40:22 Foul by Papa Bouba Diop on Clinton Dempsey, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
39:52 Marc Wilson fouled by Bobby Zamora, the ref awards a free kick. David James restarts play with the free kick.
39:13 Papa Bouba Diop challenges Clinton Dempsey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Clinton Dempsey restarts play with the free
39:03 Frederic Piquionne delivers the ball, Mark Schwarzer makes a save.
37:13 Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Hughes on Frederic Piquionne. Free kick taken by Nadir Belhadj. Younes Kaboul takes
a shot. Zoltan Gera gets a block in.
34:52 Sylvain Distin takes the free kick. Younes Kaboul concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Konchesky. Direct free kick taken
by Mark Schwarzer.
34:52 Booking Danny Murphy goes into the referee's book.
32:28 A cross is delivered by Zoltan Gera.
Correction - 29:47 Frederic Piquionne takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in. John Utaka delivers the ball, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
Corner taken by Niko Kranjcar played to the near post, clearance by Zoltan Gera.
29:47 Frederic Piquionne takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in. John Utaka crosses the ball, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
Niko Kranjcar takes the outswinging corner, Zoltan Gera manages to make a clearance.
28:12 Centre by Younes Kaboul, blocked by Paul Konchesky. Niko Kranjcar takes a outswinging corner.
26:28 Dickson Etuhu concedes a free kick for a foul on Papa Bouba Diop. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Niko Kranjcar.
23:20 Frederic Piquionne takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
19:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Papa Bouba Diop by Dickson Etuhu. Aaron Mokoena takes the free kick.
19:00 Shot on goal by Andrew Johnson from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
17:54 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John Utaka by Clinton Dempsey. Direct free kick taken by John Utaka.
17:04 Corner from the left by-line taken by Danny Murphy, clearance by Hayden Mullins.
15:55 Danny Murphy takes the free kick, Bobby Zamora takes a shot. Save by David James.
15:55 Booking Hayden Mullins is given a yellow card.
14:36 Shot from just outside the box by Niko Kranjcar misses to the right of the goal. Danny Murphy challenges Papa Bouba Diop unfairly
and gives away a free kick.
12:51 The assist for the goal came from Clinton Dempsey. Hayden Mullins challenges John Pantsil unfairly and gives away a free kick.
12:51 GOAL - Bobby Zamora:Portsmouth 0 - 1 Fulham Bobby Zamora gets on the score sheet with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal.
Portsmouth 0-1 Fulham.
12:16 Marc Wilson challenges Bobby Zamora unfairly and gives away a free kick. Brede Hangeland takes the free kick.
11:36 The referee blows for offside against John Utaka. Mark Schwarzer takes the indirect free kick.
10:41 Younes Kaboul delivers the ball.
8:55 Nadir Belhadj sends in a cross, Frederic Piquionne produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of
the right-hand upright.
8:19 Younes Kaboul produces a cross, Paul Konchesky gets a block in.
7:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andrew Johnson on Aaron Mokoena. Hayden Mullins restarts play with the free kick.
5:22 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marc Wilson on Andrew Johnson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Danny Murphy, save made by
David James. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Paul Konchesky from the right by-line, save by David James.
4:26 The ball is sent over by Frederic Piquionne.
1:42 Frederic Piquionne has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.
0:22 Bobby Zamora challenges Aaron Mokoena unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Marc Wilson.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
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