Ecuador leave out Hurtado and De la Cruz

November 7, 2007

QUITO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Ecuador have left captain Ivan Hurtado and right back Ulises de la Cruz out of their squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Peru.

The pair have criticised coach Luis Fernando Suarez recently and both played in the 5-0 defeat by Brazil last month.

Hurtado, 33, has won 145 caps for his country and has played in five World Cup qualifying campaigns, including the current one. De La Cruz has won 98 caps.

Although he is suspended from the Paraguay game after picking up two yellow cards, Hurtado would have been eligible to face Peru.

Goalkeeper Daniel Viteri was also dropped after disappointing performances against Venezuela and Brazil last month.

Viteri was caught napping by Jose Manuel Rey's 45 metre free kick in the 1-0 defeat by Venezuela and his blunder allowed Kaka to score Brazil's fifth goal at the Maracana.

Viteri was sent off in his next game for Deportivo Quito and had another bad afternoon on Sunday in a 3-1 league defeat by LDU.

Edwin Villafuerte, whose career has been punctuated by disciplinary problems, was recalled in Viteri's place alongside Argentine-born goalkeepers Marcelo Elizaga and Javier Klimowicz.

Ecuador, who have qualified for the last two World Cups, have yet to score a goal or a point in the qualifiying campaign for the tournament in South Africa.

They visit Paraguay on Nov. 17 and host Peru four days later.

Goalkeepers: Marcelo Elizaga (Emelec), Edwin Villafuerte (Barcelona), Javier Klimowicz (Deportivo Cuenca)

Defenders: Jairo Montano (Barcelona), Jairo Campos (LDU), Jorge Guagua (Emelec), Giovanny Espinoza (Vitesse Arnhem), Paul Ambrossi (LDU), Oscar Bagui (Olmedo), Carlos Castro (El Nacional), Omar De Jesus (El Nacional)

Midfielders: Edison Mendez (PSV Eindhoven), Luis Antonio Valencia (Wigan Athletic), Segundo Castillo (Red Star Belgrade), Alex Bolanos (Barcelona), Patricio Urrutia (LDU), Cristian Lara (LDU), Walter Ayovi (El Nacional), David Quiroz (El Nacional)

Forwards: Cristian Benitez (Santos Laguna), Felipe Caicedo (Basel), Ivan Kaviedes (El Nacional), Ebelio Ordonez (El Nacional), Jorge Ladines (Emelec)