Waikato FC top the festive table after a solid 2-0 New Zealand Football Championship win over Wellington in Ngaruawahia yesterday.
The home side's fourth win in a row moves them to the top with 12 points as the league takes a three-week mid-season break.
The reigning champions Waitakere United stormed back into contention though after O-League and FIFA Club World Cup duty, a 3-0 win over Manawatu, moving them to second with 10 points
and two games in hand.
Auckland City missed the chance to lead the table, after Canterbury United beat them, 2-1 in Christchurch.
City are now third, ahead of Hawke's Bay, who came from behind to beat 10-man Otago 3-1 in Dunedin, and Manawatu.
Canterbury and Wellington are also within striking distance of the top four on eight points four clear of Otago.
Around the league, players wore black armbands to mark the passing of Wellington's general manager David Farrington, who died from cancer on Wednesday aged 60.