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By ESPN Staff

Benitez replaced Santa Cruz in Paraguay squad

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino has added Edgar Benitez to the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Peru.

Benitez replaces Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz, who sustained a hamstring injury during the 2-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester United at Ewood Park on Saturday.

Sol de America striker Benitez is the leading scorer of the current Clausura tournament, having netted 11 goals so far to help his team to fourth in the standings.

"I always work hard, hoping to be considered by the national team's technical staff and I have been given this opportunity. Now, I will do my best in the squad," Benitez told Paraguayan radio station 970 AM.

Paraguay lead the South American Qualifying Zone on 17 points, four above Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

The Colombia match will be played on Saturday in Bogota before the Guaranies host Peru next Wednesday in Asuncion.

Paraquay squad: Justo Villar (Valladolid), Aldo Bobadilla (Medellin), Derlis Gomez (Nacional); Paulo Da Silva (Toluca), Julio Manzur (Pachuca), Dario Veron (Pumas), Claudio Morel Rodriguez (Boca Juniors), Denis Caniza (Olimpia), Julio Caceres (Boca Juniors), Aureliano Torres (San Lorenzo), Pedro Benitez (Tigres); Edgar Barreto (Reggina), Edgar Gonzalez (Olimpia), Cristian Riveros (Cruz Azul), Jonathan Santana (Wolfsburg), Enrique Vera (America), Victor Caceres, Osvaldo Martinez (both Libertad); Nelson Haedo Valdez (Borussia Dortmund), Salvador Cabanas (America), Oscar Cardozo (Benfica), Dante Lopez (Pumas), Ariel Bogado (Atlas), Edgar Benitez (Sol de America)

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