Hong Kong will have to wait for another day to register their first ODI win after United Arab Emirates held their nerve to eke out a two-wicket victory in the ACC Premier League in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
Hong Kong failed to defend a total of 157 with the UAE reaching the target with nine balls to spare.
"We bowled well and fielded well and had them struggling at 122 for eight," said coach Charlie Burke.
"But, towards the end, we probably went searching for the last couple of wickets and gave away too many easy runs with a number of them coming off edges.
"We failed to build pressure."
Once again it was a poor batting performance, which cost Hong Kong their third successive loss in this tournament.
Both this match and the Afghanistan game were deemed official ODI matches by the International Cricket Council.
"It is a shame that the middle order is struggling," Burke said.
"This was an opportunity for players to put their hands up in the absence of guys like Mark Chapman.
"But so far no one has come up with a good knock other than Babar [Hayat's] half century in the opener against Afghanistan."
Irfan Ahmed once again got off to a breezy start, but was out early, and first, for 30.
The next highest scorers were skipper Jamie Atinson (20) and Haseeb Amjad (21).
"We have underperformed here but we still have a chance of finishing in the top three if we can win both our remaining games against Nepal and Malaysia," Burke said.
Malaysia pulled off a huge shock when they beat Afghanistan by three wickets on Sunday.