Daniel Caligiuri: I’ll bury the next one

It was an unusual feeling for Daniel Caligiuri after the 31-year-old missed from the spot in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Leverkusen—just the second time he’s done so in his career. “It just wasn’t a good shot, I had too many thoughts in my head,” Caligiuri said about the miss. “Next time, I’ll step up to the spot again, and I’ll score!”

After a so-so first half that saw Bayer take a deserved 1-0 lead, Schalke had a chance to turn the match in their favour just a few minutes into the second half. Guido Burgstaller scored to make it 1-1 before referee Deniz Aytekin pointed to the spot following VAR review of a foul in the box from Kevin Volland on Weston McKennie.

Caligiuri misses for just the second time

Schalke sent Daniel Caligiuri to take the kick, one of the best penalty-takers in the league. In the Bundesliga alone, the right-footed midfielder has scored 13 times in 14 attempts from the spot. Caligiuri has a perfect 12-for-12 record in penalties taken in the DFB-Pokal, the Regionaliga, and the Junior A Bundesliga. His last miss came in September last year in a 2-0 loss to Hertha Berlin.

It would have been the perfect one-two punch.

Daniel Caligiuri

“The keeper stood his ground for a long time—that was good from him,” said Caligiuri of his face-off against Lukas Hradecky in the 53rd minute. The usually accurate Caligiuri was unhappy with his shot because, “It would have been the perfect one-two punch. I think that we would have won the game after that.” Caligiuri made the decision on the fly to aim for the bottom right corner. “The shot wasn’t accurate enough,” Caligiuri said, and promised “The next one will be.”

Ending the season on a high

Caligiuri may have a shot at redemption this upcoming Saturday (18.05) when Schalke face VfB Stuttgart at home in the final game of the season. Even if Schalke are safely out of the relegation zone—unlike their opponents—the match is still an important one for the club.“We want to end this disappointing season with a win, in order to go into the summer break on a high,” said Caligiuri. “If we play the way we did during the second half, then we will be able to win against Stuttgart.”

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