Sun Pegasus coach Chan Chi-hong admitted their title hopes were over after just half the season following a disastrous 3-1 defeat to leaders Kitchee in the RedMR First Division on Sunday.
Christian Annan opened the scoring for Kitchee with a solo effort in the first half before Juan Rodriguez hit a brace after the break to seal the victory. Striker Admir Rascic scored a late penalty for Pegasus in front of 2,800 fans at Mong Kok Stadium.
"I don't think we can come from behind to have any chance in the league," said Chan. "Although only half of the season has gone, we are already a long way behind the leaders [12 points].
"Even if we won all the remaining matches, which is not easy, we would still have to wait for Kitchee to lose points. It's almost impossible."
Kitchee extended their lead at the top to seven points over South China in second.
"Our focus now remains on the FA Cup and also a place in the Playoff Cup for securing a berth for the 2015 AFC Cup," added Chan. "We will also give more chances to the youngsters especially in the league."
Having lost to South China in the Senior Shield final the previous weekend, Chan believes there is a lot his players need to learn.
"We always have achieved better possession over our opponents, but it doesn't work if we cannot put the ball into the net," he said. "Kitchee taught us a lesson today as the finishing quality of their players was far better."
The defeat was a sad ending for midfielder Ba Hei at the club.
The 30-year-old played his last match with Pegasus yesterday and will join China First Division side Shijiazhuang in Hubei province.
"I feel a bit sorry leaving Pegasus when they are having a difficult time," he said. "There are always low times in a season and I hope they can lift themselves out of trouble as soon as possible."
A Hong Kong international, Bai said he had already spoken to national coach Kim Pan-gon and told his new club that he wants to continue to play for the national team after returning to China.
"They have agreed it would not be any problem as long as the international duty does not clash with any domestic fixture and I am more than happy to contribute to the Hong Kong team if they still need my services," he said.