The Team of Choice scored first at the Harry Gwala Stadium through Kwanda Mngonyama in the 56th minute and seemed destined for maximum points until Peter Shalulile equalised in the 93rd minute.
That was after United had failed to convert a couple of decent chances in the second half, and on the balance of play, coach Eric believes his side had done enough to secure victory.
“I feel for the players, because I thought they really worked their socks off,” he said.
“We knew it would be tough – they play with a lot of aggression, with a lot of intensity, Owen [da Gama] is a firm believer in heavy conditioning in the players…and we contained them, for 92 minutes, they didn’t really cause us any major headaches.
“Yes they had a few shots, over the crossbar, but those were from distance.
“Losing the two points hurts to be honest, because I thought with the effort the boys put in, the way we played, we deserved more. With the chances we had, we could have buried them, we could have scored three or four if we had taken our chances.”
Following a 1-0 defeat to Lamontville Golden Arrows the previous weekend, the Team of Choice were at least able to register their first point of the season, and the head coach remains confident in the quality he sees in his squad.
“I look at both our games, against Arrows and this one. We’ve got a lot of strength, I look at my bench, I’ve got a lot of options. So I see a lot of positives, but we’re in the business of results.
“I thought we out-ran Highlands Park, several times on the counter, so that’s kudos to our fitness department because it means we’ve had a good pre-season.
“Highlands play a difficult brand of football. We are a team that likes to keep possession and play through the phases. They are very direct and it’s difficult to try and stamp your authority on the game when playing against teams like that.
“But I thought we did that – we stamped our authority, we showed that we are the home team and those are some positives I can take from the game.”
Maritzburg will have a two week break before their next match, away to Stellenbosch FC on Sunday, August 25.