By Mike Slane, Goal.com
Jozy Altidore and the United States are making history, and as a result the team is beginning to become a force around the world.
Altidore had a hat trick, becoming the first American to score in five straight games, 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.
"It feels great," Altidore told reporters after the match. "More than anything, as a team, we win another game. Our confidence is high."
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 19th 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. In the 30th minute, 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. He had 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 a late Dzeko goal.
Altidore's fifth goal in as many games broke the previous mark he'd shared with Johnson, William Looby, Eric Wynalda, Brian McBride and Landon Donovan.
"We came in (at halftime) and said, 'Listen we can beat this team,'" Altidore said. "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, we created so many chances."
The U.S. resumes World Cup qualifying when if faces Costa Rica on Sept. 6 at Estadio Nacional in San Jose. Following that game is a match against Mexico on Sept. 10 at a sold-out Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
The U.S. leads the Hexagonal at 4-1-1 (13 points), followed by Costa Rica (11 points) and 20th-ranked Mexico (8 points).
"This team is coming together at the right time," Altidore said. "We have things to work on, but it looks like everything is coming together. The bigger picture is the World Cup and we want to be ready for that."
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