Houston Dash fall to Kansas City Current 3-1 in UKG Challenge Cup  

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The Houston Dashfell on the road to the Kansas City Current 3-1, in the fourth game of 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup group play.

Rookie defender Madelyn Desiano scored her career first NWSL goal in the 17th minute of the match. Desiano, who made her first career start tonight, scored from just outside of the 18-yard box after forward María Sánchez found her open. Desiano then cut back toward the far post creating space to then take the shot, which kissed the inside of the post on its way to the back of the net.

Sánchez took sole possession of first place for most assists in NWSL Challenge Cup play with five after being credited with the assist on Desiano’s goal.

In the first minute of first half stoppage time, Kansas City’s Kristen Hamilton scored the equalizer. Hamilton and Kansas City scored a second goal in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time to take the lead.

Hamilton added a third goal in the 68th minute of the match to extend the lead.

Dash goalkeeper Emily Alvarado, who earned her second Dash start, made a key save in the 11th minute of the match after the Kansas City attack broke free on transition. The El Paso, Texas native had to quickly readjust after the initial attack took her in the opposite direction.

Alvarado left the match in the 30th minute following apparent discomfort in her leg and was replaced by Jane Campbell.

Sánchez forced Franch to make another diving save in the 37th minute after the Mexican international was awarded a free kick. Sánchez was fouled by Kansas City’s Michelle Cooper as she was making a run in transition.

Defender Caprice Dydasco nearly scored her first regular-season goal in the 32nd minute of the match. Dydasco took a shot from the right side of the box, which forced Kansas City goalkeeper AD Franch to make the punch out save.

Forward Diana Ordóñez opened the second half with a shot in the 47th minute but had it blocked.

In the 70th minute forward Ebony Salmon nearly scored to cut into the Kansas City lead. Salmon’s shot hit the cross bar and the ball bounced back out onto the field of play. Forward Cameron Tucker was nearby for the second attempt, but Kansas City was able to contain Houston’s attack before conceding a corner kick.

Midfielder Hope Breslin, who made her Dash debut after coming on in the 80th minute of the match, scored nearly a minute into her first appearance. Breslin’s shot sailed just over the crossbar and into the stands.

Dash captain and defender Katie Lind became the first player in Challenge Cup history to make 20 starts for a single club. Lind also tied Washington’s Ashley Sanchez for the most Challenge Cup matches played for a single club.

Houston returns to Shell Energy Stadium to host Racing Louisville FC in Challenge Cup group play on Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m. CT.