USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Final score 4-3, Altidore hat trick fuels a US comeback

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The United States looked outclassed in the first half, but a second-half hat trick by Jozy Altidore gave the USMNT their first come-from-behind victory in Europe.

Jozy Altidore's second-half hat trick helped turn around a poor start of the match and give the United States their 12th straight victory as they defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-3 in Sarajevo. It's the first time that the USMNT have come from behind to win a match in Europe.

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The first half was nothing memorable for the United Stats, twice being punished for giveaways and poor defending as Bosnia opened up a 2-0 lead at the break.

After a horrible giveaway right at the top of the 18-yard box by Eddie Johnson, Edin Dzeko delayed his run just enough to stay onside and broke free behind the USA defense. Goalie Tim Howard was able to block the initial shot, but the rebound returned right to Dzeko who rolled his shot past Howard to put the Zmajevi a 1-0 lead.

In the 30th minute, Vedad Ibisevic got away from his marker after the initial clearance of a Bosnia corner and headed a follow-up cross past Howard to extend the lead to 2-0. Ibisevic appeared to be offside on the play, but there was no call from the linesman.

Things improved for the U.S. in the second half after Klinsmann removed Mix Diskerud, moving Fabian Johnson into the midfield and inserting Edgar Castillo at left back. He also shifted the formation to more of a 4-4-2 and it paid dividends in the 55th minute.

Michael Bradley's long ball was placed perfectly and brought down with a fantastic first touch by Jozy Altidore as Bosnian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic attempted to charge him down. Altidore directed the ball to the right to Eddie Johnson was put the ball into the wide open net to make it 2-1.

Less than five minutes later Fabian Johnson made a slicing run through the midfield and found Altidore at the top of the box. The striker took one quick touch, turned toward goal and fired a low shot past Begovic, pulling the U.S. even at 2-2.

With the goal Altidore has now scored his five straight international matches.

Howard denied Bosnia in the 67th minute after a cross into the box was directed on frame by Visca. The U.S. keeper made an excellent one-handed reflex save to keep the score tied.

USA fans got their first look at 22-year-old Aron Johannsson whose one time national team switch from Iceland to the United States was approved on Tuesday. The young forward from Mobile, Ala., played the final 27 minutes and showed some good speed and lively footwork, but his finishing left a bit to be desired. It's still nice to see the potential on display.

The United States completed their impressive second-half comeback in the 84th minute when Altidore scored his second goal of the match, beating Begovic with a wicked curling free kick from 20 yards out.

Two minutes later Altidore completed the hat trick.

Sacha Klejstan found Bradley making a 30-plus yard run down the right side and the Roma midfielder made a great one-touch pass to Altdore who put his shot past Begovic.

Dzeko pulled Bosnia back within a goal in the 90th minute, catching Brooks ball-watching and stealthily cutting inside the young defender before directing an excellent header by Howard.

United States: Howard; Evans, Cameron, Brooks, F. Johnson (Parkhurst 79;); Bradley, Jones (Klejstan 69'); Bedoya (Corona 63'), Diskerud (Castillo 45'), E. Johnson (Johannsson 63'); Altidore

Goals: E. Johnson (55'), Altidore (59', 84', 86')

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Begović; Bičakčić, Spahić (Šunjić 45'), Zukanović (Višća 62'), Lulić; Rahimić; Misimovic, Pjanić (Medunjanin 61'), Salihović (Stevanović 45'); Ibišević (Vršajević 45'), Džeko

Goals: Džeko (8', 90'), Ibišević (30')

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