West Ham, relegated from the Premier League last season, suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff City today on its return to English soccer’s second-tier Championship.
Kenny Miller secured Cardiff’s win at Upton Park with an injury-time strike that England goalkeeper Robert Green got his hands to but couldn’t stop.
West Ham has lost players including striker Demba Ba, center-back Matthew Upson and midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger since losing its top-flight status, but made additions with Premier League experience such as Kevin Nolan and Matthew Taylor.
The Hammers appointed Sam Allardyce as manager since last season, replacing Avram Grant, while Cardiff also has a new coach in Malky Mackay.
West Ham had several chances today, but struggled to break down the visitor’s defense, with goalkeeper David Marshall making saves from Taylor, Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne.
Piquionne also hit the bar, while a James Tomkins header was stopped on the line by Peter Whittingham.
Blackpool was the only one of the three demoted teams to start with a win, beating Hull City 1-0 two days ago. Yesterday, Birmingham City lost 2-1 at Derby.
All three teams that came up from the third-tier League One started with victories. Brighton defeated Doncaster 2-1, Southampton beat Leeds 3-1, and Peterborough won 2-1 against Crystal Palace. Leicester City, among the favorites for promotion, yesterday won 1-0 at Coventry City.