The framework of the International Champions Cup meant that a winner had to be decided and United's eventual win on penalties felt deserved on the balance of play.
United retained their spot at the top of Pool A, and will progress to the final against the winners of Pool B should they avoid defeat in normal time in Saturday's clash with Real Madrid.
After the game, Louis van Gaal was happy, saying "I think we played by far the best match of our sequence of three," per the club's website.
There were certainly some fine moments, although perhaps in spite of Van Gaal's positive comments, he will be disappointed that United did not find a breakthrough in the course of 90 minutes.
Here are some things he may have learned from the game.