Altidore hat-trick inspires USA success – and gives Sunderland striker big boost ahead of Premier League kick-off

Jozy Altidore
Jozy Altidore
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JOZY ALTIDORE gained a huge confidence boost on the eve of the Premier League campaign after his hat-trick secured a national record for the USA tonight.

Altidore, one of six Sunderland players who came through their international commitments unscathed, set a milestone when he became the first American to net in five consecutive internationals.

The 23-year-old’s second hat-trick for his country secured a thrilling 4-3 victory for the US, who were trailing 2-0 at half-time in Bosnia.

Altidore helped his side back into the game 10 minutes into the second half when he provided the assist for Eddie Johnson to halve the deficit.

And six minutes later, the former AZ Alkmaar frontman levelled the scoreline with a powerful left-footed effort from just inside the area.

Altidore put the USA ahead with a right-footed free-kick and then moments later, he completed his treble when he slid home from 12 yards.

His fellow summer signing Emanuele Giaccherini started Italy’s friendly with Argentina in Rome and played 54 minutes before making way.

Keiren Westwood completed the full 90 minutes of the Republic of Ireland’s dull stalemate with Wales, as he looks to get the nod ahead of Vito Mannone for Sunderland’s Premier League opener on Saturday.

But Westwood, who will hope to start Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers next month, had to demonstrate his reflexes early in the second half when he produced an excellent save to keep out Craig Bellamy’s free-kick.

John O’Shea skippered the Irish and played the first 54 minutes before making way for Darren O’Dea, while David Vaughan was an unused substitute for the Welsh.#

Sunderland’s only other international representative was Seb Larsson, who played 65 minutes of Sweden’s 4-2 victory over neighbours Norway, in Stockholm.

The midfielder provided the assist for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to break the deadlock for the Swedes after just two minutes - the first goal of the Paris St-Germain striker’s hat-trick.