Foreign players are considered the backbone of every team in V. League 1, especially foreign strikers who have contributed many goals.
Among the top eight goal scorers of 2020 V. League 1, seven are foreigners, with the only domestic player being striker Nguyen Xuan Nam of HCMC FC, on three goals. Leading the list is Jamaican striker Rimario Gordon (Hanoi FC) on four goals, followed by Ugandan forward Joseph Mpande (Hai Phong FC), Brazilian forward Bruno Henrique (Hong Linh Ha Tinh), Jamaican striker Chevaughn Walsh (Hoang Anh Gia Lai), Nigerian forward Ishmahil Akinade (SHB Da Nang), Jamaican striker Jeremie Lynch (Than Quang Ninh) and French striker Papa Ibou Kebe (Quang Nam FC), all on three goals.
Two most valuable foreign players in Vietnam, according to football statistics site Transfersmakt, Senegalese striker Pape Omar Faye (Hanoi FC) and Brazilian winger Bruno Cantanhede (Viettel FC), both worth $450,000, haven’t performed well. Cantanhede, after scoring a double for Viettel in March, hasn’t scored since. Omar only scored one goal in the first fixture, then commenced struggling with form and injuries.
Domestic strikers like Nguyen Tien Linh (Becamex Binh Duong), Nguyen Cong Phuong (HCMC FC) and Ha Duc Chinh (SHB Da Nang) had a slow start but have begun scoring more in recent fixtures, hoping to continue their streak.
After returning in early June after a three-month break due to Covid-19, three more V. League 1 fixtures have been played. HCMC is leading the table with 14 points, followed by Viettel FC (11 points).
The champion of this season will directly qualify for the group stage of 2021 AFC Champions League, as the tournament has increased the number of clubs from 32 to 40 next year.