Two more goals by Omer Damari led Hapoel Tel Aviv to a 4-0 victory over Hapoel Haifa at Bloomfield Stadium on Sunday night.
Damari gave the hosts the lead in the 29th minute with a characteristically composed finish, but Tel Aviv had to wait until the final 10 minutes to clinch the three points.
Rumored to be leaving Hapoel in the January transfer window due to the club’s dire financial state, Damari took his tally for the season to a league-best 11 goals eight minutes from time before Israel Zaguri (85) and Gili Vermut (90) completed the rout for the Reds, who climbed three places to fifth in the standings.
On Monday, Maccabi Tel Aviv will look to reestablish a six-point gap at the top of the Premier League table when it visits Ironi Kiryat Shmona.
Maccabi will be aiming to record its eighth straight win and 14th victory in 17 matches so far this term after seeing Hapoel Beersheba close to within three points on Saturday with a dramatic 2-1 triumph over Bnei Yehuda.
After three consecutive victories, Kiryat Shmona lost 2-1 at Ashdod SC last week.
Kiryat Shmona is unbeaten at home this season, winning four and drawing four of its eight games at the Municipal Stadium.
“Kiryat Shmona hasn’t lost at home yet and we want to be the first to do so,” said Maccabi coach Paulo Sousa. “We are not unbeatable because we still have plenty to work on, but we want to continue and build on our recent results.”