A goal-scorer yet again on the big stage, the experienced forward feels his team can take plenty of positives out of their loss to 'La Roja'
The veteran forward was on the wrong end of Australia's 3-1 loss to Chile in their Group B opener in Cuiaba on Friday, but hit the back of net yet again on football's biggest stage, having previously done the business for the Socceroos in Germany in 2006 and in South Africa four years ago.
There was no disgrace in defeat for Ange Postecoglou's players, who had the better chances in the second half at the Arena Pantanal.
And Cahill believes his young team-mates have now been shown how they are capable of making their own mark among elite company.
"It's all about defining moments," he told SBS.
"Being one of the older boys. This is the stage to do it. When you're called upon you have to show up.
"At the start we showed a bit of fear. And then when we stepped up and we started getting in their faces and we started rolling them a bit - when they show a bit of aggression we have to show some back and ... we did that."
Cahill had a goal that would have made it 2-2 ruled out for offside, while fellow veteran Mark Bresciano also went close to equalising for Australia.
Ultimately they proved unable to salvage what would have been a deserved point, but their New York Red Bulls talisman is nevertheless positive about the team's prospects ahead of a clash with the in-form Netherlands, who thumped Spain 5-1 earlier on Friday.
"They (Chile) got in twice and punished us," Cahill said.
"After that you could see their legs were going. We knew we could get something from this game.
"When you attack and concede like that at the end it's disappointing. But overall for a team performance we really stood up strong and it's just unfortunate. I don't know whether that was a disallowed goal or not. Not a lot went our way tonight and I think it showed.
"We'll learn from this and we'll go into the next game very positive. But the good thing is, we believe in our football, we believe in our structure. Last week they were questioning whether we can create chances. Tonight we created quite a lot."