The United States is beginning to become a force around the world.
Jozy Altidore had a hat trick and an assist to help the U.S. rally from a two-goal deficit for a stunning 4-3 victory over 13th-ranked Bosnia-Herzegovina in a friendly at Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium on Wednesday.
The Stars and Stripes extended their all-time record winning streak to 12 games, and they did it with an experimental roster that featured a mix of veterans and four players earning their first senior-team call-ups.
Altidore has been on fire since June's World Cup qualifiers and continued to be a leader as he played a part in all four goals, assisting Eddie Johnson's opener before having three of his own.
Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic scored for Bosnia-Herzegovina, which entered the match undefeated in six UEFA World Cup qualifying matches and hadn't suffered a defeat since losing to Mexico last May.
The U.S., which also hasn't lost since May, moved ahead of rival Mexico to 18th in the latest FIFA rankings and could be even higher after defeating one of the world's premier teams on the road.
The Americans defeated second-ranked Germany in the beginning of June and breezed through three World cup qualifiers before easily taking first place in the 2013 Gold Cup.
For at least a half against Bosnia-Herzegovina, however, it looked as though their storybook summer would end on a low note.
Dzeko scored in the eighth minute after putting his own rebound past U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard. Twenty-two minutes later, Ibisevic had a near-post header to give the hosts a two-point edge entering halftime.
The second half got off to a much smoother start for the Americans thanks to a beautiful combination play between three of the most-experienced players on the squad. In the 55th minute, Michael Bradley went over the top to Altidore, who tapped it around the keeper to Johnson for an 18-yard strike.
Four minutes later, Altidore got a goal of his own after Fabian Johnson set up the new Sunderland player for a one-touch finish.
Altidore got his second with a brilliant free kick and capped off his hat trick in the 86th minute, which was enough cushion to still walk away with a win despite Dzeko cutting into the deficit moments later.
While Altidore was the star of the show, Klinsmann was able to get a good look at Aron Jóhannsson, who recently completed a one-time switch from Iceland to the U.S. The youngster was one of four players on the roster to earn their first call-up and replaced Johnson in the 63rd minute.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jozy Altidore
- Vedad Ibisevic