The Team of Choice extended their unbeaten run in the Absa Premiership to four matches, and also kept a fourth consecutive clean sheet (in the league) with the stalemate at the Orlando Stadium.
And while a point on the road against a team of Pirates’ stature was a decent result, coach Eric feels Bucs were potentially there for the taking and that his players should have done more to try and secure victory.
“We weren’t very good to be brutally honest. I don’t think we played with the intensity required,” he said.
“In the first half there were so many opportunities on the transition to really go and hurt them. But we didn’t really show the intent and because of that we started to drop off, to give them space. And with the quality Pirates have, they are going to hurt you.
“We tried to rectify that at half time and I felt the first 10-15 minutes of the second half we were a lot better, and I thought we created a few opportunities to threaten them a lot more.
“They got the red card (Happy Jele’s sending off on the hour mark), but our intensity still wasn’t enough – we should have punished them when they went to 10 but we didn’t.
“For me, disappointing performance overall. We’ll take the point. Would I have been happy with a point (before kick-off), yes. But I expected more from the players to be honest. We had great opportunities on the transition if we wanted to, the problem is we didn’t want to.
“I really felt we could have hurt them. We had many opportunities in the first half which we didn’t take advantage of, and again after they went down to 10.”
While there is work to do on the attacking side, the Team of Choice rearguard was outstanding once again, with goalkeeper Richard Ofori awarded Man-of-the-Match.
Along with pacesetters Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits (who have played three matches less), Maritzburg have the best defence in the league, with just five conceded in nine matches.
“We knew they would come hard at us,” Ofori said. “Playing against Pirates here (in Soweto), as a goalkeeper, you need to stand out, that’s what I did.
“I thank my players because they did very well, we defended very well. We need to keep on pushing and make our fans happy.”
Next up for United is a league clash with Bloemfontein Celtic at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.