Sporting Lisbon's Europa League campaign began with a goalless draw against Basle at Estadio Jose Alvalade
But it could have been a lot worse for the Portuguese side, who had defender Alexandre Xandao sent off and played the last 40 minutes with 10 men.
Basle had chances to make their numerical advantage count, yet for the large part of a disjointed Group G encounter the teams cancelled each other out.
Xandao received a straight red card, while four other players - two from each side - were cautioned during a game that rarely moved out of third gear.
A scrappy opening saw Sporting dominate possession, but it still took them 14 minutes to create an attacking opportunity before Trindade Elias fired a shot over the Basle bar from 12 yards.
There was little to enthuse a 22,000-strong crowd, who saw home defender Marcos Rojo booked for unsporting behaviour, although Sporting did manage to test Basle goalkeeper Yann Sommer as half-time approached.
He kept out an Andre Carrillo free-kick before some outstanding defensive work by Markus Steinhofer to block Marat Izmailov's shot ensured a 0-0 interval scoreline.
Sporting's hopes of launching their European campaign with victory then suffered a major blow just five minutes into the second period.
Xandao was shown a red card by Israeli referee Alon Yefet for a foul on Marco Streller, and an immediate tactical switch saw midfielder Elias substituted in favour of defender Filipe Daniel Carrico.
Basle predictably looked to increase the tempo and went desperately close to breaking the deadlock when Marcelo Diaz drilled a 20-yard shot against the bar.
It was a clear warning for the home side, yet poor discipline continued to undermine them and Gelson Fernandez collected a caution shortly afterwards.
Basle could not force home their advantage, although a point away from home will give them more cause for satisfaction than their hosts.
The Portuguese side had won all four previous encounters with Basle without conceding a single goal and had won each of their last nine European home games.