Hong Kong shared top spot in the East Asian Football Championship standings with rivals North Korea after thrashing hosts Taiwan 5-0 in their penultimate game of the preliminary competition in Taipei yesterday. Coach Lai Sun-cheung was delighted his charges had completed another easy win, which follows a 6-0 thrashing of Mongolia and a 15-0 rout of Guam earlier this week. North Korea lead the table on goal difference from Hong Kong after hammering Guam 21-0 in their third game. The North Koreans have scored three more goals than Hong Kong after three games and like the SAR, have yet to concede a single goal. So it will all come down to tomorrow's game against North Korea as Hong Kong battle to win the preliminary competition and earn the right to play Asian giants South Korea, Japan and China in the East Asian finals, scheduled to be held in South Korea in late July. Hong Kong lost all three matches two years ago, losing 3-1 to South Korea, 1-0 to Japan and 3-1 to China. North Korea only need a draw to go through to the finals, while Hong Kong must defeat their rivals in the Chung Shan Stadium if they are to repeat their success of two years ago. 'I am very satisfied with the performance against Taiwan. We certainly didn't expect to win 5-0. We knew we had a great chance of beating Taiwan, who have not been impressive in their games. We defeated Taiwan 2-0 in this competition last time and we were confident of victory again,' said Lai. 'Everybody did their job well. Now, we must concentrate on our last game against North Korea on Sunday. Against Taiwan, we led 3-0 at half-time and Taiwan played a lot more defensively in the second half. Overall, we did very well,' said Lai. Chan Yiu-lun scored a brace, while Lam Ka-wai, Poon Yiu-cheuk (penalty) and Cheung Sai-ho all got on the scoresheet as Hong Kong handed Taiwan a lesson to set up a final confrontation against North Korea, who last defeated Hong Kong 2-1 at the 2002 Asian Games in Pusan. 'North Korea are definitely our strongest rivals in the group. They were quite sharp against Guam and we would have to be on the lookout for them. It should be a very close match. But we have been playing well and we are hopeful of victory,' he said.