The Team of Choice made it four wins in a row and three consecutive league victories, thanks to Thabiso Kutumela’s penalty in first half added time at the Cape Town Stadium.
Coach Eric felt that his side played their better football in the opening stanza.
“I thought the first half the performance was exceptional. City are a difficult team to play, a very, very good team going forward, their transitional and attacking play is very good,” he explained.
“Especially in that first 20 minutes – all the games we analysed, they are always a threat - they took a 2-0 lead against Orlando Pirates.
“But as the game goes on, opportunities will come. And I thought defensively we were well structured, well organised, I thought we frustrated them in the first half – they couldn’t find solutions.
“I thought our transitions could have been a little better, because there were opportunities to really punish them. We created one or two small chances, better than them in the first half.
“Like I said before the game, this game was going to be about mistakes, and the mistake happened, we got the penalty and we took the lead. I think the first half performance we deserved that.”
On one hand, an outstanding defensive effort secured the Team of Choice a third successive clean sheet in the league. On the flip side, the coach would like to see his men taking the game to the opposition.
“Second half we wanted the guys not to sit back, to go and get the second goal, to try get a third – City needed to take risks,” he said.
“We spoke about it in the change-room, but the players started backing off, we started giving them space, City changed the formation, we started to struggle and they created more situations.
“We defended extremely well but you know - we looked to try and just secure the result - we didn’t play very well in the second half, we needed to hold the ball a bit longer.
“Every time we win it in defence we need to keep possession and try control the match, but we didn’t do that in the second half, we had to absorb a lot of pressure.
“We have got to be able to cope with the pressure and when we do win the ball, maintain it for longer periods – we’re making one or two passes and then we’re losing it and then having to absorb the pressure again.”
Maritzburg defender Kwanda Mngonyama meanwhile picked up the Man-of-the-Match award on his return to his former club.
“We knew it wouldn’t be an easy game at all,” Mngonyama revealed. “We knew that we had to stick to our plan, how we would approach the game, and it worked really well for us. We kept everything the way we were supposed to.
“Sometimes we change systems [during a match], and at training we work on that, so it wasn’t a new thing for me, I was prepared for it.
“I had to stay switched on because we knew they were going to come at us with everything they’ve got. I was prepared for the game.”
Next up for United is Friday night’s Telkom Knockout quarterfinal clash against Highlands Park at the Harry Gwala Stadium.