New England Soccer Today

Altidore’s Hat Trick Sinks Bosnia

Jozy Altidore scored three goals – all in the second half – to steer the United States Men’s National Team to a 4-3 comeback win over Bosnia-Herzegovina in an international friendly on Wednesday at Asim Ferhatovic Hase Stadium in Sarajevo.

The 23-year-old striker scored in the 59th, 84th and 86th minutes while Eddie Johnson opened the account for the U.S. in the 55th minute. Altidore made U.S. Soccer history by scoring in his fifth straight game, a streak that goes back to a June 2 friendly vs. Germany at RFK Stadium.

Bosnia-Herzegovina put the Americans in a two-goal first half hole thanks to a pair of strikes from Edin Dzeko and former St. Louis native Vedad Ibesevic in the 8th and 30th minutes. Dzeko scored again in the 90th minute, but that was the closest the hosts would get to leveling it.

Bosnia-Herzegovina entered the match at the 13th spot in the FIFA rankings, and didn’t wait more than 10 minutes to display their firepower over the 19th-ranked U.S. Dzeko  ducked past the defensive corps before his shot was stopped by Tim Howard. But Dzeko grabbed his own rebound and beat Howard to put the hosts up early.

At the half-hour mark, Ibsevic made it a two-goal game when he expertly headed a Zvjezdan Misimovic cross into the American net.

The guests finally rose from their first half slumber 10 minutes after the interval when Michael Bradley dropped a long ball right in right of Alitodore, who immediately laid it off for Johnson. With Asmir Begovic well off his line, Johnson coolly buried it.

Four minutes later, Altidore found his scoring touch when he gathered a pass forward from Fabian Johnson and ripped a shot with his left foot that bulged the back of the net right before the hour.

With the game still in the balance in the 84th minute, Altidore decided to try his luck on a free kick from 25 yards. It proved to be a worthwhile gamble, as the U.S. striker blasted it into the back of the net.

Altidore capped his historic night with a third strike two minutes later when he linked up with Bradley and sent it past Begovic in the 86th minute.

After they watched the U.S. score four unanswered goals, Dzeko struck again in the 90th minute, but it would prove to be the final strike of Wednesday’s goal bonanza.

The U.S. will return to action on September 6 when they face Costa Rica at Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica for a World Cup Qualifier. Kickoff is set for 10pm.

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