Cahill hadn’t played for two-and-a-half weeks since limping off late last month with a hamstring strain in the MLS clash against Chivas USA.
The Australian will play a key role for the Socceroos at the 2014 World Cup which is less than two months away now, so getting through Thursday’s game was a major positive.
Cahill had returned to training on Monday, before coming off the bench to make his return as a 63rd minute substitute in Thursday’s win, the club’s first of the campaign.
"Massive win for our team tonight @NewYorkRedBulls fans were amazing tonight. Always believe and give everything and the result will come," Cahill tweeted after the game.
The 34-year-old almost hit the scoresheet after barely being on the field for five minutes, when Eric Alexander’s left-flank cross appeared destined for him.
However, team-mate Lloyd Sam beat the fast-arriving Cahill to the header and hit the back of the net to make it 2-0.