Copa America 2007Messi played his first game in Copa America on 29 June, 2007, when Argentina defeated United States 4-1 in the first game. In this game, Messi showed his capabilities as a playmaker. He set up a goal for fellow striker Hernan Crespo and had numerous shots on target. Tevez came on as a substitute for Messi in the 79th minute and scored minutes later.
His second game was against Colombia, in which he caused a penalty that Crespo converted to tie the game at 1-1. He also played part in Argentina's second goal as he was fouled outside the box, which allowed Juan Roman Riquelme to score from a freekick, and increase Argentina's lead to 3-1. The final score of the game was 4-2 in Argentina's favor and guaranteed them a spot in the tournament's quarterfinals.
In the third game, against Paraguay the coach rested Messi having already qualified for the quarter-finals. He came off the bench in place of Esteban Cambiasso in the 64th minute, with 0-0. In the 79th minute he created a goal for Javier Mascherano. In the quarterfinals, as Argentina faced Peru, Riquelme made a pass to Messi and the latter scored the second goal for Argentina, which advanced to the semifinals after a 4-0 win.
In the semi finals against Mexico, Messi scored when he spotted the Mexican goalkeeper off of his line and chipped the ball into the goal. The goal ultimately helped his team to a 3-0 victory and earned them a place in the final against Brazil, which Argentina subsequently lost.