PETALING JAYA: Midfielder Ryan Lambert is on a double mission as he gets ready for Kuala Lumpur’s title showdown against Oman club Al-Seeb in the AFC Cup final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.
Lambert, whose father is English and mother is a Malaysian, wants to help KL beat the Omani club to become only the second Malaysian and non-Middle East team to win the AFC Cup.
Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) were the first to achieve the feat in 2015 when they beat Tajikistan side Istiklol 1-0 in the final in Dushanbe.
Lambert is also hoping his performance will also pave the way for him to get into the Malaysian senior team handled by coach Kim Pan-gon.
The Korean coach is preparing the Malaysian Tigers for the AFF Cup in December and also the Asian Cup Finals in Qatar next year.
“That is what I want to do (play for the national team). I want to prove it in the final match and hopefully, I’ll get a chance,” said Lambert.
“Hopefully, I can get in but it all depends on the national coaching side’s assessment,” said Lambert, whose non-identical twin brother Declan has already earned his first national cap with the Harimau Malaya squad in the Thai King’s Cup tournament last month.
The 24-year-old Lambert added that playing in the AFC Cup final is the biggest highlight of his playing career.
“Of course, this is going to be the biggest action for me after we won the Malaysia Cup final last year,” he said.
“That was a pretty good achievement and I’m very proud. But this time, we are playing on a bigger stage. We need to stay patience and focused on what our coach (Bojan Hodak) had planned for us as we try to win the final,” he said.
KL showed their pedigree by ousting favourites ATK Mohun Bagan of India 3-1 and Uzbekistan’s Sogdiana Jizzakh 5-3 on penalties in the earlier knockout stage.
The KL management have already promised a bonus for the players and coaches if they bring home the AFC Cup.
KL supporters have snapped up more than 10,000 tickets so far.
The team are hoping to see 20,000-strong fans supporting them during the final.