Chicago Fire midfielder Gastón Giménez made his first start for the Paraguay Men's National Team on Thursday night in the nation's 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying debut, a 2-2 draw with CONMEBOL counterparts Peru.
Giménez played 81 minutes on the night before being replaced by Monterrey's Celso Ortiz, helping La Albirroja earn the first point of their qualifying campaign. The result puts Paraguay temporarily level with Peru in second place of the 10-team CONMEBOL standings as the remainder of the region's first round of matches get underway.
The appearance was Giménez's first for Paraguay, after he completed a one-time change of association through FIFA earlier this year. The 29-year-old had previously represented Argentina at the international level, for whom he suited up once in a friendly match against Mexico in 2018. Paraguay's other MLS ties include former Atlanta United and current Newcastle United midfielder Miguel Almirón -- who started alongside Giménez -- and the New York Red Bulls' Kaku, who was included on the Paraguay bench.
Giménez will take on Fire teammate Miguel Navarro in the next round of qualifying, as Paraguay and Venezuela square off on Tuesday, Oct. 13. That match kicks off in Merida, Venezuela at Metropolitano de Merida Stadium at 5:00 p.m. CT.
Prior to their meeting, Navarro and Venezuela will open their qualifying campaign on Friday night against Colombia at Metropolitano Roberto Melendez Stadium at 6:30 p.m. CT.