Soccer-Midfielder Montero out of Ecuador friendly against Spain

QUITO, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Ecuador midfielder Jefferson Montero has pulled out of Wednesday’s friendly against world and European champions Spain with a muscular problem.

The Mexican-based player, who has 27 caps, told reporters he expected to be out of action for around ten days.

Ecuador, third in the South American World Cup qualifying group and on course for a third appearance at the finals, are already without Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia.

Ecuador meet Spain at the Monumental stadium, home of local club Barcelona, in tropical Guayaquil on Wednesday (2000 GMT).

The match will be their first since forward Christian Benitez died last month in Qatar, where he was playing his club football, of a heart failure at the age of 27.

Benitez had scored four goals in the qualifiers, making him Ecuador’s second topscorer in the campaign. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Rex Gowar; editing by Brian Homewood)

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