By David Friedlander
For the Forsyth County News
SNELLVILLE – Throughout the first half of its third-round Class 7A playoff game against Forsyth Central, it seemed like South Gwinnett's boys soccer team simply could not finish.
As it turned out, all the Comets needed was a little push.
Robel Abesolom's goal late in the first half was just the necessary push to open the floodgates for a second-half surge that helped South Gwinnett pull away and make history with a 5-1 win Wednesday night.
Kadeem Agar scored twice and added a pair of assists, while twin brother Sekou Agar added two helpers, brothers Jacob and Caleb Roland combined on a goal and Alexis Calvillo made seven saves as the top-ranked Comets (15-3-2) into the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
After being penned up on its end of the field in the early minutes, including dodging a bullet when Ethan Rausch's header sailed just over the cross bar in the fourth minute, South Gwinnett began to assert itself about 10 minutes in.
The Comets generated plenty of golden scoring opportunities over the remainder of the first half, but couldn't find a way to finish them.
Central goalkeeper Keegan Williford made a pair of diving saves, one to rob Nathaniel Adeojo in the 15th minute and another to punch away Abesolom's header in the 27th minute.
Williford also got a little help from Bulldogs defender Andrew Harrington, who came to the rescue when his keeper came off his line with make a boot save to rob Sekou Agar on a header in the 19th minute to keep the game scoreless.
But in the 35th minute, South Gwinnett got another chance when Kadeem Agar gained possession just over midfield and sped his way up the middle to split the Central defense.
With another defender advancing on him, the senior strike sent a through ball on the right wing to Abesolom, who beat his defender to the ball in the penalty area and zip a well-struck diagonal shot inside the back post for a 1-0 Comets lead with 5:47 left in the half.
Calvillo kept the lead a 1-0 with his punch save to rob Alex Guzman from the left wing four minutes into the second half.
South Gwinnett then turned that play into another chance about nine minutes later, courtesy of the Roland brothers.
Caleb took possession on the right wing in the penalty area and popped the ball over the defense diagonally toward the near post, where his brother Jacob was waiting to tap it in with his left foot for a 2-0 Comets lead with 29:29 remaining.
Just over 11 minutes later, Kadeem Agar ran down Kenechi Walker's long ball up the middle, slipped past the defender into the penalty area and zipped a shot to his left inside the near post to make the lead 3-0 with 18:12 left.
And the floodgates were completely opened three minutes later, thanks to some nifty passing and a strong finish.
Sekou Agar took a free kick 20 yards on South Gwinnett's side of midfield and sent it long towards the top of the 18-yard mark, where his brother Kadeem flicked it with a header towards the left wing.
There, Bryan Gonzalez took a dribble to his right fired a bullet of a shot inside the near post to extend the Comets' lead to 4-0 with 15:56 to play.
Kadeem Agar then applied the exclamation point with his goal from Sekou Agar to make it 5-0 with 12:35 left.
Abraham Lemus ended South Gwinnett's shutout bid and got Forsyth Central on the board at 5-1 with his goal off a deflection to 5:48 left, but Calvillo and the Comets were able to close out the historic win.