Both sides created chances in an open encounter but ultimately it was a night where goalkeepers shone. United's Anders Lindegaard and AmaZulu's Taupwa Kapini made a string of superb saves to deny the capacity crowd more goals. In the end, they were probably the only two men who were pleased the net bulged just once.
Not that the Durban supporters left disappointed. The crowd were treated to some fabulous passing moves from both teams, a match played in generous spirit and a late cameo from summer signing Shinji Kagawa.
Fellow summer arrival Nick Powell didn't feature at all, although there were plenty of other new faces in the Reds' line-up. Frederic Veseli, Scott Wootton, Robbie Brady and Jesse Lingard all pulled on a senior shirt for the first time, with Marnick Vermijl, Tyler Blackett, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Davide Petrucci also claiming the honour when they came off the bench in the second half.
Played against the backdrop of celebrations for Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday, the match started brightly. Javier Hernandez spurned a golden chance inside two minutes following fancy footwork and a stinging shot by Macheda, while Paul Scholes thrilled onlookers with a series of clever passes.
Vuvuzelas - the droning horn that soundtracked the 2010 World Cup - were dusted off and blown with gusto throughout, ceasing only to give way to cheers when Macheda opened the scoring on 20 minutes.