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Sports

August 15, 2013

Altidore's hat trick leads US to 4-3 win vs Bosnia

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 yesterday, scoring a hat trick and adding an assist on the other goal 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.

Edin Dzeko scored his second goal in the 90th minute. But it wasn’t enough for the Dragons, who lost for the first time in 10 games.

“We absolutely deserved the win,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “This is good for the guys to see that we’re going to come to Europe and play eye to eye. We’re not here to defend or counterbreak. We’re here to play.”

The U.S. winning streak, the longest currently in the world, appeared to be jeopardy after the Americans fell behind 2-0 before halftime.

The Bosnians quickly pounced on a Johnson turnover in the eighth minute and fed it to Dzeko. His first shot, from just inside the penalty area, deflected off Tim Howard, but Dzeko was right there to collect the rebound and put it in the net for a 1-0 lead. Vedad Ibisevic, who spent part of his childhood in St. Louis and still has immediate family there, doubled Bosnia’s lead in the 30th on a header.

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