It was a bitter pill to swallow after the Team of Choice had battled valiantly, only to see a moment of brilliance from Benni McCarthy crush their day.
And it was made worse when Prince Olomu had a last minute goal ruled off-sides, in what appeared a very debatable and marginal decision.
Here’s what the United coach and players had to say after the match:
Coach Ernst Middendorp
“I have to see it again, but I’m quite convinced about it, I want to see again if it was really off-sides.
“Every minute going to the end, you could smell something was going to come. But in the end, they scored a goal, we didn’t score a goal and we have to respect it and take it.
We go home knowing that Benni McCarthy scored three points for Orlando Pirates – for them to be able to bring a player like him on, he knows where the goal post is.
“It as the same last week against Ajax Cape Town – we showed weakness in that we were not making it happen with the final touch, with the final shot.
“But we will work on it, I’m not unhappy. At the end of the day we lost to the champions of the league – we can’t complain, we are not talking about losing five zero or four zero, we kept close.”
Midfielder Michael Morton
“We were obviously very disappointed – when we went down to 10 men we made it difficult for ourselves from then on.
“We got caught in possession once or twice – it’s a question of us needing to be a bit faster, a bit quicker on the ball – moving forward a bit quicker.
“Its disappointing getting a result like this when we had a chance to score.”
Francis Chansa, United goal keeper
“We played well, we much just keep our heads up and focus now on our next game, in the Nedbank Cup.
“I’m there just to push them (the Maritzburg goal keepers). We have some good keepers at the club. Today it was my chance, but anyone of us can play. I am working hard and I believe I can still do the job when called upon, for another two or three years.”