The first half produced little in the way of goalmouth action, as both teams resorted to long-range shots when they had possession in the attacking third of the field, and neither goalkeeper was called upon to make a save in the first 45 minutes.
Celtic's Jacky Motshegwa picked up a caution on the half-hour mark for a late tackle on George Maluleka in midfield, while the visitors also suffered a blow when defender Brent Lawler had to be replaced by Johannes Motlhaping owing to injury moments later.
The second half continued in much the same manner as the first until the deadlock was finally broken in the 66th minute, with Ashley Hartog beating Patrick Tignyemb with a well-placed header.
Phunya Sele Sele responded to going behind by bringing on attacker Ruzaigh Gamildien, but it was the hosts who almost doubled their lead on 73 minutes when Roscoe Pietersen picked out Atusaye Nyondo with a cross, but the striker put his header wide of the target.
The newly crowned Telkom Knockout champions struggled to create scoring chances in the dying minutes, but on 89 minutes they received a slice of good fortune when United skipper Thabo September scored an own-goal to hand his team yet another draw.