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  • June 11, 2011
  • • 7:37 PM
  • • Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Referee: A. Chapin
  • • Attendance: 14105

D.C. United 2 - 4 San Jose Earthquakes: Lenhart the hat-trick hero for San Jose

D.C. United 2 - 4 San Jose Earthquakes: Lenhart the hat-trick hero for San Jose

Mitchell Layton

Steven Lenhart had a banner day as his three goals and assist saw San Jose past D.C. United.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- D.C. United looked like it might continue its five game unbeaten streak after scoring in the 13th minute against San Jose on Saturday night, but the game quickly turned in to the Steven Lenhart show, as San Jose continued its own unbeaten streak with a 4-2 win.

Lenhart had three goals, two in the first half and one in the second, and assisted on the other goal as San Jose extended its unbeaten run to six games, with four wins and two draws. Simon Dawkins had the other San Jose goal, with United's goals coming from Andy Najar and Blake Brettschneider. 

First Half

San Jose got off to a flying start, with Lenhart immediately causing all sorts of trouble for United. His shot in the second minute was palmed over the goal by Bill Hamid, and then he set up Sam Cronin at the top of the box, only to have the shot blocked.

United was able to settle down and in the 13th minute it took the lead thanks to Andy Najar's first goal of the season. Josh Wolff played a ball in from the left that eluded four defenders, and found Najar at the back post, where he was able to poke it home for the 1-0 lead.

That lead didn't last though, as San Jose was level in under two minutes. Khari Stephenson's pass lead Lenhart into the box, where he beat the offside trap, rounded Hamid, and then fired a left footed shot into the empty net for a deserved equalizer.

The same combination was at it again in the 22nd minute, as Lenhart scored again to give San Jose the lead. Stephenson had a powerful shot that was parried by Hamid, but Lenhart beat the United defenders to the rebound, and he coolly slotted the ball home for his second goal of the half.

Both teams continued to attack, and in the 34th minute, the proceedings were level again, as Blake Brettschneider scored his first career MLS goal. Chris Korb played the ball into the box and with his back to the goal, Brettschneider held off Bobby Burling before turning and firing a shot in at the near post.

The Black-and-Red had the final two chances of the half, but Najar's long range effort was parried away by Jon Busch, and Chris Pontius' curling effort from the corner of the box flew just over the bar.

Second Half

The halftime score of 2-2 did not last long, as San Jose was back out in the lead in the 49th minute. Simon Dawkins, who moments before had come into the match for Stephenson, was played into the box by Lenhart, and Dawkins beat Hamid to the ball, and prodded it home from eight yards for the 3-2 lead.

United nearly had a response six minutes later, as Clyde Simms played Josh Wolff in behind the defense. Wolff played an inviting cross in on the ground, but the ball was just out of the reach of Brettschneider, and the chance was gone.

San Jose continued to cause problems for the United defense, and in the 60th minute, Lenhart completed his hat-trick on the night. United failed to clear a free kick properly, and Steven Beitashour sent the ball back into the box. Hamid tried to come out and claim the ball, but Lenhart was first to it, and looped a header into the empty goal for the 4-2 lead.

D.C. had a couple of chances to find an equalizer, but the final ball was visibly missing as the game worn on. Brandon Barklage had a look from range on goal, but his strike was straight at Busch. After a free kick from Dax McCarty, the ball fell to Wolff in the box, but his shot from a tight angle was straight into the side netting, and United failed to create any more chances for the rest of the match.

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