Sarajevo, Bosnia (Sports Network) - Jozy Altidore netted a second-half hat
trick on Wednesday as the United States battled back from a two-goal deficit to
claim a 4-3 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in an international friendly.
Edin Dzeko scored a brace and Vedad Ibisevic added a goal for Bosnia-
Herzegovina, but they were answered by tallies from Eddie Johnson and
Altidore's treble. Altidore, the newly-signed Sunderland man, also became the
first player in United States soccer history to score a goal in five
The result sees the Americans extend their winning streak across all
competitions to 12 straight games. They have not tasted defeat since a 4-2
setback against Belgium in a friendly on May 29.
Coming off an exceptional performance which saw the Americans win the CONCACAF
Gold Cup last month, manager Jurgen Klinsmann took the opportunity to make a
few changes to his squad.
Among those changes are defender John Anthony Brooks, who suits up for
Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin, as well as forward Aron Johannsson, who recently
had his one-time switch from Iceland accepted by FIFA.
But it was the home side the carried the play in the early stages and grabbed
the advantage just eight minutes into the match when Dzeko collected a loose
ball at the top of the American penalty area and had a shot on goal. It was
stopped by U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, but the rebound came right back to the
Manchester City man and he hammered home the rebound.
Bosnia-Herzegovina claimed a 2-0 lead on the half-hour mark when Zvjezdan
Misimovic sent a cross into the box and Ibisevic nodded it past Howard.
After the break, the United States switched to a conventional 4-4-2 formation
and everything changed as the Americans got back into the match in the 55th
minute when Michael Bradley sent a nice ball over the top to Altidore. He
quickly touched it into the path of Johnson and the Seattle Sounders man slid
it into an empty net.
Four minutes later the Americans found an equalizer when Altidore got on the
end of a through ball from Fabian Johnson and ripped it home with a first-time
strike for his second goal of the night.
Altidore completed his second career hat trick in style six minutes from time
when he smashed a well-placed, curling free kick into the left side of the net,
leaving goalkeeper Asmir Begovic with no chance for a save.
The hosts pulled one back in stoppage time through Dzeko's second of the day,
but the Americans held on for their first-ever come-from-behind win on European
soil. It was also the first home loss for Bosnia-Herzegovina since a 2010
defeat to France.
The Americans will look to continue their unprecedented winning streak with a
World Cup qualifier in Costa Rica on Sept. 6.
The Sports Network