Matlaba's second half goal cancelled out Ndulula's first half penalty as Pirates and AmaZulu played to a 1-1 draw at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night
Both Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu came into this encounter with one point each from their first two league games, but the home side would have hoped to build from their last weekend's victory over Bidvest Wits in the MTN8.
The Buccaneers dominated possession in the opening 20 minutes of the game, with Thabo Matlaba always in Usuthu's half whenever they launched their attacks.
However, they never tested Tapuwa Kapini as AmaZulu had enough numbers in front of their own goalkeeper to stop Pirates from taking shots.
AmaZulu were then awarded a penalty in the 28th minute when Rooi Mahamutsa blatantly brought Bongani Ndulula down inside the box, and the former under-23 forward dusted himself up and blasted his spot-kick past Senzo Meyiwa.
Pirates never looked down after that goal, and continued to put their opponents under pressure. They then won a free-kick in a promising area following Carlington Nyandombo's foul on Thandani Ntshumayelo.
Mpho Makola's couldn't hit the target with a curling effort from the resultant free-kick, although Kapini appeared to have had it all under control.
Issa Sarr nearly made it 1-1 on the stroke of halftime, but his shot from the edge of the box was deflected for a corner as Usuthu defended too deep. Kermit Erasmus saw his casual shot saved by Kapini a few seconds later as Craig Rosslee's charges held on to their slim lead going into the second half.
The former SuperSport United forward was again lively after the restart, but his left-footed shot from the edge of AmaZulu's penalty area went inches wide with Kapini well beaten.
The Soweto giants finally got the equalising goal after the hour-mark following some brilliant display that saw Makola beat two defenders inside the AmaZulu box before Matlaba rifled past Kapini from close range.
Usuthu never really troubled Meyiwa in the second half, and Pirates should have punished them in the last 10 minutes of the game - Erasmus had his long range shot saved by Kapini in the 80th minute, while Lehlohonolo Majoro failed to score the winner with only the AmaZulu shot-stopper to beat in the 86th minute.