gimenez paraguay celebration

Giménez scores first international goal in 1-0 Paraguay win over Venezuela

Chicago Fire midfielder Gastón Giménez scored his first international goal on Tuesday night for Paraguay, an 85th minute match-winner that secured a 1-0 victory for La Albirroja at Venezuela's Metropolitano de Merida Stadium.

Making a delayed run into the Paraguay 18-yard box, Giménez emphatically finished off a feed from teammate Alberto Espínola with a left-footed blast past goalkeeper Wuilker Fariñez. The goal gave Paraguay the first win of their CONMEBOL 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign, putting them in second place behind Argentina on four points after two matches played.

Giménez put in a 90-minute shift in what was his second start for Paraguay after previously completing a one-time change of association from Argentina through FIFA earlier this year. He got his first start and played 81 minutes in Paraguay's World Cup Qualifying opener this past Friday, Oct. 9 -- a 2-2 draw against Peru.

Tuesday's Paraguay win came at the expense of Giménez's Fire teammate Miguel Navarro, who was included in Venezuela's bench for the matchup. After representing Venezuela seven times at the Under-20 level in 2019, the 21-year-old Navarro will continue to look forward to his senior team debut. Venezuela has yet to secure their first points in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying after additionally suffering a 3-0 defeat to Colombia last Friday.

Giménez and Navarro will next return to Chicago to rejoin the Fire. Both players will be eligible to participate in full team activities after completing a mandatory quarantine in accordance with Major League Soccer’s health and safety protocol.