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By ESPN Staff

Ecuador hit five past nine-man El Salvador

QUITO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Striker Cristian Benitez scored twice to help Ecuador to a crushing 5-1 win over nine-man El Salvador in a friendly on Saturday.

The visitors, beaten by the same score in Bolivia on their previous visit to South America last November, had Victor Merino sent off in the 45th minute for stamping on an opponent and Eduardo Campos dismissed in the 61st for a two-footed challenge.

Ecuador, warming up for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers which start next month, went ahead in the 13th minute when Cristian Lara smashed in a shot from outside the area.

Mexico-based Benitez headed in from a free kick in the 29th minute and another free kick led to Felipe Caicedo scoring from close range one minute before halftime.

Eliso Quintanilla replied for the visitors in the 36th minute.

Benitez eluded several defenders to score an individual goal four minutes after the re-start and won the penalty from which midfielder Patrico Urrutia completed the rout five minutes later.