Simon Dawkins scored the eventual winning goal soon after coming on as a substitute and Steven Lenhart completed his hat trick as the San Jose Earthquakes stopped D.C. United's five-game unbeaten streak and extended their own run to six matches without a loss as they defeated United 4-2 at RFK Stadium Saturday night.
Dawkins, on loan to San Jose from Tottenham Hotspur in England, entered the game in the 48th minute as a replacement for Khari Stephenson. Within 60 seconds of his appearance, Dawkins had slipped past both United center-backs, taken an impish pass from Lenhart at the edge of the area, and beaten Bill Hamid to put the Earthquakes on top to stay.
United should have equalized in the 55th minute, but Josh Wolff's ball across the top of the six-yard area was too far in front of the onrushing Blake Brettschneider, who was replaced in the 62nd minute in favor of Charlie Davies.
United conceded the killer goal on the hour mark as a Lenhart free kick from the left wing was not properly cleared by United's defense. The ball eventually fell to defender Steven Beitashour, who chipped the ball back into the box. Lenhart was flanked by Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, and Daniel Woolard, but was the only person to actually leap for the ball, and he sent a looping header past the onrushing Bill Hamid and into the open net. Thus did Lenhart complete the first hat trick for a visiting player at RFK Stadium since Alejandro Moreno scored three for the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 4-2 win over United back on May 19, 2004.
United sent on Davies, Brandon Barklage, and Dax McCarty and switched to a 3-5-2 in search of a miracle comeback, but failed to produce any opportunities that might have troubled Jon Busch, and San Jose saw out the match fairly contentedly.