The Montreal Impact are making a bad habit of squandering leads and dropping points in Major League Soccer.
For the fifth time this season, the Impact took the lead but failed to come away with three points as FC Dallas came from behind to win 2-1 on Saturday night.
Montreal took a 1-0 advantage into the halftime break but conceded twice in 10 minutes to Dallas forward Cristian Colman after the restart.
"We have to do a better job of taking care of the ball when we take the lead," said coach Mauro Biello. "It's not about taking the lead and backing up. It's taking the lead and continue to play and follow the plan and try to get the second goal.
"Tonight we played a team that if you make mistakes they're going to make you pay, and that's what happened."
Colman made the Impact pay with his first two goals of the season as the visitors took top spot in the Western Conference with the victory.
Colman scored his first of the evening in the 52nd minute. The forward got on the end of a low cross in the box that eluded three Montreal defenders for an easy tap-in past goalkeeper Evan Bush.
In the 62nd, Colman gave the visitors the lead with a highlight-reel goal. The 23-year-old Paraguayan, making just his seventh start of the season, beautifully chested down a long cross from Carlos Gruezo, evaded Bush's charge in the box and easily slotted home his second of the encounter.
"Sometimes it just gets too open and too free-flowing and there's not as much emphasis on group defending as there should be," said Bush, who wore the captain's armband for Montreal. "When Dallas got the lead, they were all on the same page when it comes to defending and closing down space, not letting guys in behind.
"There aren't enough teams that shut down a game the right way. It's not just us. It's everybody."
Montreal also blew leads this season in Orlando (ended in a 3-3 draw), against Vancouver (2-1 loss), in Chicago (2-2 draw) and in the home opener versus Seattle (2-2 draw).
Defender Kyle Fisher, who was solid against Dallas, says the Impact are simply not sharp enough when they take the lead.
"If you look too far ahead, then you lose focus of what's in front of you," he said. "When we do that like tonight, we let points slip. When you don't focus on the performance and you focus on the result, things like this can happen."
Montreal (6-7-6), which lost at home for the first time in its last seven games in all competitions, got its lone goal from Michael Salazar. The 24-year-old scored from a header in the 23rd minute, his third goal in as many games.
FC Dallas (9-3-7) was the better team for much of the encounter and the visitors could have easily gotten a third goal.
After a scramble in front of Montreal's net in the 22nd minute, Colman fired a shot on target but defender Daniel Lovitz headed it away on the goal line. Colman threw his arms in the air, incredulous that the referee determined the ball had not entirely crossed the line.
Goal-line technology is not used in Major League Soccer.
"I'm sure the ball was in," said Colman through a translator. "In fact I thought the referee had stopped the play. I thought it was a goal but those things happen. Happy with the two goals but I would have been happier with three.
"I've been trying hard game after game after game, and the goals were not coming. So this was really important for me."
Veteran defender Laurent Ciman (hip flexor) and Ignacio Piatti (groin) started the game on the bench. Piatti came into the game in the 59th minute but did not factor in the match.
Notes: There were 20,481 fans in attendance - the biggest crowd of the season at Saputo Stadium. The previous high was 19,597.