Amri Zaki who came in as a substitute grabbed Yanga a win when he equalized for Zamalek in the 75th minute.
Zaki who played for English Premiership side Wigan Atletic from 2008-2009, was introduced in the 60th minute when hosts Yanga were leading 1-0 in the Champions League preliminary round, first leg match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Yanga will be required to obtain a win or draw at 2-2 for them to advance, in the return leg match to be played in Cairo in the next two weeks.
Yanga’s goal was registered by Hamis Kiiza in the 36th minute when the Ugandan striker hit the ball from 20 metres.
Yanga lost a number of scoring chances through Kenneth Asamoah, Juma Seif and Kiiza.
Yanga coach Kostadin Papic praised his boys after the game.
"Although the result does not favour us but we must admit that my players played well," he said. Zamalek assistant coach Osama Nabil praised Yanga.
Yanga: Shaaban Kado, Shadrack Nsajigwa, Stephano Mwasika/Oscar Joshua, Nadir Haroub, Athuman Iddi, Juma Seif, Omega Seme, Haruna Niyonzima, Davis Mwape/Shamte Ally, Kenneth Asamoah, Hamis Kiiza.