Chris Wondolowski notched his 13th and 14th goals of the season, but the game was marred by two early red cards.The San Jose Earthquakes have now all but secured a playoff spot thanks to a goal on either side of the half from star man Chris Wondolowski. D.C. United dominated play for long stretches of the game, but came away with nothing due to a combination of poor finishing and sloppy defending. Referee Alex Prus changed the tone of the game early by sending off both Brandon McDonald and Jaime Moreno for an off-the-ball incident.
Things got off to a quick start at RFK Stadium, with D.C. nearly going ahead within four minutes. Jon Busch spilled a cross from Jordan Graye, but Brandon McDonald somehow managed to clear it off the line before Santino Quaranta could put it a way.
The entire complexion of the game changed soon after, as there was an altercation between Jaime Moreno and McDonald that resulted in Moreno going down with a noticeable bump on his head from an apparent headbutt. After a long consultation with his linesman, referee Alex Prus decided to send both players off, judging Moreno to also be guilty of violent conduct during the incident.
With both teams at 10 men, D.C. looked the better side, stretching San Jose with their combination play and remaining compact in defense. Stephen King and Carlos Varela were threats out of the midfield and King had two good attempts saved by Jon Busch as he looked to get forward.
Varela, meanwhile, was a constant threat on the right wing, especially with Bobby Convey now shifted back into a less comfortable left back position. It was Leitch who nearly gifted United an opener when he could only clear right into the middle of the San Jose area, but Busch came out smartly to push it away from danger.
Just as the clock reached 45 minutes, the Earthquakes pounced to take the lead with their first shot on goal of the game. Tim Ward sent in a cross from the right that bounced over the D.C. defense and right to a wide-open Wondolowski, who fired in a powerful half-volley, giving Troy Perkins no chance.
The home side continued to pressure as the second half opened, but clearly lacked some confidence after conceding late in the first. Jordan Graye fired in a low cross, but no D.C. player could get on the end of it.
The Earthquakes struck again in the 55th minute and again capitalized on slack marking from D.C. United. Geovanni played a short corner to Bobby Convey, who swung in a curling cross from the left. Perkins flapped at the cross and it fell right to Wondolowski, who made no mistake and doubled San Jose's advantage.
D.C. was clearly shocked after the second goal, and although they continued to control possession, their high line and poor communication allowed San Jose a lot of space to counter. Scott Sealy and Bobby Convey both had great opportunities, but couldn't make the most of them, as San Jose looked finish things off.
Pablo Hernandez had a golden opportunity in the 76th minute as he forced Chris Leitch to mishit a clearance straight at the San Jose goal. Hernandez managed to run onto the ball, but Jon Busch came out and blocked the shot.
United started to ramp up the pressure in the final ten minutes, which led to some good opportunities, but also left them exposed at the back. Brad Ring missed one-on-one with Troy Perkins before hitting the crossbar minutes later.
On the other end of the field, Pablo Hernandez had another great opportunity to grab a goal, but took too many touches and couldn't finish, effectively capping another disappointing defeat for D.C. United.
Nick Rosano is a NorCal-based contributor for Goal.com. Follow him on Twitter @nicholasrosano for more MLS insight and the occasional moment of hilarity.
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