United had won their last two friendlies, after losing manager David Moyes' first game in charge, but the Premier League champions were behind after 33 minutes in Osaka.
Robin van Persie, back in the team after being substituted in United's last game, had two early chances to open the scoring, but found home keeper Kim Jin-Hyeon in good form.
Cerezo had enjoyed good early pressure and Kenyu Sugimoto was the man to take full advantage after Chris Smalling gave the ball away on the edge of the area, slotting past Anders Lindegaard.
It took until nine minutes after half-time for United to equalise, with Shinji Kagawa scoring against his former club, having seen his penalty saved just minutes before.
Ryan Giggs' corner bobbled to the near post and the Japan playmaker controlled the ball neatly before squeezing an effort in at the near post.
Moyes withdrew a number of his bigger names with the likes of Zaha and Adnan Januzaj replacing Giggs and Van Persie, with the former Crystal Palace man going close, firing a shot across goal after fine work on the right.
Takumi Minamino looked to have snatched the result for Cerezo, however, as he scored the pick of the game's goals, striking an impressive effort past Lindegaard from outside the area after 64 minutes, with United's defence backing off.
But it was Zaha who had the final say when he tapped home an Anderson pass just 20 seconds from the end to level the scores.
United's next game is against Kitchee FC on Monday.