Thursday, August 15, 2013

USMNT Wins Comeback Thriller Over Bosnia and Herzegovina

The United States Men's National Team won it's 12th consecutive match last night, defeating Bosnia and Herzegovina by a 4-3 count. Jozy Altidore's second-half hat trick led the way, with Michael Bradley and Tim Howard providing strong leadership and quality play to defeat the world's 13th ranked squad.

The 12-match win streak is the longest in American soccer history and is the longest current win streak in world soccer. Bosnia and Herzegovina is undefeated in World Cup Qualifying and was playing at home, so this was a difficult task.

Watch highlights of last night's match here, courtesy of US Soccer:

The USA, ranked 19th in the world in the latest FIFA rankings, was in dire straits at the half, trailing 2-0. After watching a mostly listless attack from his side, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made a tactical adjustment, coming out of the locker room with a 4-4-2 by moving Eddie Johnson alongside Altidore up top. He also moved Fabian Johnson to a more attacking midfield spot.

The moves paid off in the second half, as Altidore assisted Eddie Johnson on the first goal and Fabian Johnson provided Altidore with quality service for the tally to tie the score up at 2. Altidore then scored on a beautiful free kick to give the US the lead, and Bradley found Altidore on a world class pass for the fourth and final goal. Bosnia scored early in stoppage time, but it wasn't enough.

This match also provided the American debuts of center back John Anthony Brooks and forward Aron Johannsson. Brooks started and looked solid in the back, while Johannsson came on a sub and threatened to score a couple times late. Both look to be important future pieces for the USMNT.

The Stars and Stripes now get a few weeks off before a very important month of September, with World Cup Qualifiers at Costa Rica (September 6) and home vs Mexico in Columbus (September 10). If the US is able to win both matches, they will be assured a spot in next year's World Cup in Brazil. A win and a draw would likely keep the US atop the Hex with a clear path to Brazil, as well.

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