The Oranje dominated Saturday's match on a greasy surface in Sydney but had nothing to show for their enterprise and endeavour before a full house of more than 40,000 fans.
Australia's defence held strong to stretch the Socceroos' unbeaten run against Holland to three matches, but the overall performance lacked vibrancy and imagination.
Still, they became the first team in 27 matches to prevent the world's third-ranked nation from scoring.
Everton midfielder Cahill said of the Socceroos' display: "They were exceptionally good - quick on the ball, closed us down well and it was good test. We can be happy with the result. It's a great result.
"We didn't concede a goal. We were compact, we kept the game plan and the only thing we didn't do well was create more chances.
"We were unlucky not to get closer to a goal. They didn't score and if we had got one we would have won."
Blackburn star Emerton, back in Australian colours for the first time in seven months after injury, added: "I think we did well to keep a clean sheet against such an attacking force.
"I don't think there's too many things we need to improve on.
"Defensively we were solid. They had a lot of possession but didn't create too many opportunities.
"That was our first priority; to make sure we were difficult to break down."
Harry Kewell offered the rain-soaked pitch as an excuse for Australia's profligacy and lack of composure on the ball but refused to accept it as a reason.
But he is looking ahead to Wednesday night's important Asian Cup qualifier against Oman with plenty of optimism.
"I'd love to make excuses if they (Holland) played bad, but their one touch and two touch was fantastic so you can't really blame the pitch for any bad football," Kewell said.
"We're working hard and we know what we've got to do."
"I don't think we could have had a better run to prepare ourselves for Wednesday."
Jason Culina added: "We didn't see much of the ball. The Dutch dominated but it was another good result for us. It was decent."