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Jozy Altidore gets hat trick, rallies U.S. to 4-3 win
Altidore leads comeback, adds assist on goal by Eddie Johnson of Sounders FC in exhibition against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
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Trailing 2-0 at halftime, their record winning streak in jeopardy, the Americans never panicked.
There was no need to, not with Jozy Altidore on their team.
Altidore led an impressive comeback Wednesday, scoring a hat trick and adding an assist on a goal by Eddie Johnson of Sounders FC as the U.S. rallied to beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 4-3 in an exhibition in Sarajevo and extend its record winning streak to 12 games. It was the first come-from-behind win on European soil for the Americans.
“We came in (at halftime) and said, ‘Listen we can beat this team,’ ” said Altidore, who has scored in five straight games, a first for a U.S. player. “We came in and said, ‘We have more weapons, we’re just as confident as they are. We just have to put more passes together and be more confident.’ And you saw that in the second half.”
The 12-game winning streak is the longest in the world right now, and three shy of the record set by Spain in 2009. The win over 13th-ranked Bosnia was the second over a top-15 team during the run, following a 4-3 victory over No. 2 Germany on June 2 that started the streak.
Altidore set up Johnson’s goal in the 55th minute, controlling a long chip shot from Michael Bradley with a slight touch of his left foot. The ball fell right at Johnson’s feet and, with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic out of the net to block Altidore, Johnson neatly tapped the ball into the empty net to cut Bosnia’s lead to 2-1.
From there, Altidore impressed with three goals.
“We see a Jozy that is enjoying himself,” United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann said of his striker, who has seven goals in the last five games. “He went through a lot of maturing elements over the last couple of years ... But he really understands now how to zoom in when it counts. He makes everyone around him a better player. It’s real enjoyable. It’s really fun.”