Panama got off to a fast start in the Gold Cup, defeating Mexico in their first game, but they've been less than impressive since. They struggled to beat Martinique 1-0 and drew a poor Canada team 0-0 knowing that a draw was good enough to clinch first place in Group A for them. Cuba have had a rockier road to the quarterfinal, but could give Panama some trouble based on the Canaleros' previous struggles.
To this point, Cuba have been lucky to avoid defections of any of their players to the United States. The government has loosened its grip on people a bit, but players were still expected to leave the Cuba camp before their last Gold Cup game. Maybe the prospect of playing in the knockout stage changed some minds. In any event, Cuba have their best players available.
However, that might not do them much good. While they were good in a 4-0 win over Belize to clinch this quarterfinal spot, Belize are by far the weakest team in the tournament. They had a bit less luck against the United States and Costa Rica, who beat them handily. Panama are on a similar level to those two teams and should be considered heavy favorites.
Match date/time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: FOX Soccer (U.S. - English), Univision (U.S. - Spanish), Sportsnet World (Canada), ESPN (U.K.)