Uefa might just harbour an unspoken appreciation for disorder. They may be the governing body but this unruly start to Euro 2012 could have them reflecting that misconduct has its part in fascinating a continent. So long as there were no microphones around, the administrators could concede that their tournament has commanded immediate attention, partly through a pair of red cards.
Poland's goalkeeper, Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny was sent off after bringing down Dimitris Salpingidis in the 69th minute but the understudy, Przemyslaw Tyton, came on and saved the weak penalty from Giorgos Karagounis. At the end of the first half Sokratis Papastaphopoulos had been dismissed with a second yellow card in a draconian moment from the referee, Carlos Velasco Carballo.
The Spanish official had been within his rights to take such action, but perhaps, too, he felt the urge to show Uefa that he is not a waverer. There was no indication that he felt any interest in employing his own powers of discretion with an act of clemency.
The opening phase of a competition is crammed with people aiming to make an impression, and not all of them are footballers. This outcome seemed to suit the Poland manager, Franciszek Smuda, since he feels that the national team has barely begun to regain its old renown. This was a beginning of sorts. Greece, by contrast, were surprise victors in this tournament eight years ago but a point was no disaster for them either.
Poland would have preferred to galvanise their countrymen, but the side were not masters on this night. Even before they enjoyed a numerical advantage for a spell, Greece had been insistent on showing that they had notable means of their own. It is the co-hosts who may be left to reflect most deeply on these scenes.
Poland's supporters would have been unsure whether to settle simply for enjoying the Euro 2012 ambience or hoping for spectacular results. An opener from the Borussia Dortmund attacker Robert Lewandowski as early as the 17th minute seemed to encapsulate the vibrancy his side was intent on maintaining, but mayhem also played its place.
While Fernando Santos's Greece line-up had their moments, this occasion sometimes seemed too great for them. Poise was lost when the centre-half Papastaphopoulos was sent off with a second yellow card in the 44th minute, although the obstruction then and the earlier offence had been unremarkable
So far as Poland were concerned, this will be a particularly tough competition. If hope and expectation have climbed it is largely because of the coveted Lewandowski and the other two Poles, Lukasz Piszczek and Jakub Blaszczykowski, who have lately contributed to Dortmund's completion of a double in Germany.
This grand occasion crammed the national stadium with fervour and faith. Even so, there would have been little expectation of uninhibited play by the Poland side as a whole. Smuda, weighing up his squad, has a preference for caution. Poland had kept five clean sheets in a row before this encounter.
The natural retort would be that they had been dealing in irrelevancies while mere friendlies made up the fixture list, as it had done for the last two years. Smuda could have insisted that a rapport and purpose were being introduced all the same.
This game might have been designed to test Poland's true capacity. Nothing was likely to come easy considering that a stubborn Greece were undefeated in the qualifiers. The hosts were in no doubt that it would take vigour and sustained purpose to alarm them. The opening was bold, with Greece stretched as Poland took the initiative immediately.
Kostas Chalkias in the Greek goal did not have too much trouble in tipping away Rafal Murawski's drive from the edge of the area after four minutes, yet the incident raised expectations among the Polish support. It was not lost on Greece that resistance alone would not suffice and the centre-forward Theofanis Gekas had headed wide after a set-piece from the captain, Karagounis.
The confidence of Poland from kick-off did, however, register. Lewandowski's opener felt overdue even if it was notched with a mere 17 minutes gone. Poland, in a pleasingly old-fashioned way, took to the wings as they made the breakthrough.
Blaszczykowski delivered from the right and with Chalkias tentative in his reactions Lewandowski headed home decisively. It was an episode that raised questions about how Greece could react, considering that resilience is their key attribute.
They did begin to enjoy more possession but Poland, with the lead, were also able to pace themselves and look to punish the opposition with counter-attacks. It was probably the approach Greece would have adopted had it not been for Lewandowski's impact.
Even so, they were not to be cowed. An equaliser came in the 51st minute as a cross by Vassilis Torosidis from the right was not dealt with by Szczesny, who was impeded by his own men, and Salpingidis, the substitute, turned the ball home. Greece may have been outnumbered but they were scarcely discouraged and then had their big chance after Szczesny's dismissal, only for Karagounis's nerve to desert him. This was a madcap night that set the tournament off with a remarkable game.