Steven Lenhart and Simon Dawkins scored second-half goals to power the San Jose Earthquakes to their third consecutive home victory, 2-0 over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.
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Lenhart split two defenders to reach a 40-yard cross from Steven Beitashour and sent a powerful header past goalkeeper Tally Hall in the 69th minute. Dawkins scored in injury time off an assist by Sam Cronin.
San Jose (4-4-4), unbeaten in its last five matches, is back to .500 for the first time since April 2.
The loss extended Houston’s winless streak to seven matches. The Dynamo dropped to 3-5-6.
San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch made a couple of critical stops on headers from forward Cam Weaver in the final minutes to preserve the lead. Lenhart also helped out on defense, blocking midfielder Colin Clark’s 90th-minute shot from inside the penalty box while Busch scrambled to get back on his line.
For Lenhart, a draft-day acquisition by San Jose, it was his first goal as a member of the Earthquakes. He appeared to score in San Jose’s 3-0 victory against Columbus on May 14, but the goal was later ruled to have been deflected in by teammate Brandon McDonald.
There was no question about this goal, which became Beitashour’s first career MLS assist.
Dawkins, playing his first match since undergoing surgery May 5 to relieve compartment syndrome in both calves, got free behind the Houston defense as the Dynamo were desperately pushing for a tying goal. The Tottenham Hotspur loanee slotted his shot from 14 yards past the helpless Hall.