The failure to take all three points in Ndola means Ghana can go top of Group D should they win in Lesotho on Sunday.
Zambia opened the scoring after 70 minutes through Jacob Mulenga but Malik Mohammed replied two minutes later.
The 2012 African champions now have 11 points from five matches, with Ghana on nine points ahead of their Maseru tie.
Elsewhere, Botswana won their first match in Group A when beating Central African Republic 3-2 on home soil in a clash that was high on drama but which has little impact on the table.
For the team that progresses to the third and final round of qualifying from this group could be determined on Sunday if leaders Ethiopia win at home against 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa.
Playing in the south-eastern city Lobatse, Central African Republic made the brighter start as Nicaise Ozingoni fired home after 33 minutes.
The advantage only lasted eight minutes however as Jerome Ramatlhakwane levelled the scores from the penalty spot moments after Ali Calvin Tolmbaye was dismissed for the visitors.
Despite being down to ten men, Central African Republic regained the lead when Ozingoni grabbed his second of the game five minutes into the second half.
As Botswana struggled to find a way through, it looked as though the visitors might hold on for their first ever away win in World Cup qualifying – which would have come against the only team they have ever beaten in the competition.
Such hopes were shattered though when Mogakolodi Ngele equalised for the hosts after 74 minutes, before Ofentse Nato struck a winner just four minutes from time.
Botswana climb off the bottom of Group A, with their four points now one better than CAR.