CANBERRA - China coach Alain Perrin resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes for his team's dead rubber against North Korea in Canberra on Sunday.
China, already assured of finishing at the top of the group standings and earning a quarter-final with Australia in Brisbane on Thursday, made just three changes to their starting lineup.
Hao Junmin, Cai Huikang and Sun Ke all came in to the run-on side, replacing Wu Xi, Wu Lei and Ren Hang, who was suspended after picking up two yellow cards. "As professional football players we must always be ready to face challenges," Perrin said. "So we will try our best to play well and get the three points."
North Korea, unable to advance after losing their first two matches, made two changes with defender Ro Hak Su and midfielder O Hyok Chol coming in for Cha Jong Hyok and Ri Yong Jik.