Brisbane remain ninth on the ladder after a 3-2 win over fellow-battlers Perth Glory, but with the recent departure of Petros Skapetis scuppering their forward momentum, another key player-loss would be inconceivable.
Avraam Papadopoulos, Ivan Franjic and the returning Brett Holman scored for the hosts, who snapped a three-game losing season with just their fourth win of the season.
Five consecutive A-League defeats haven't dulled Kenny Lowe's sharp wit.
Playing his first match since November, former Socceroo Brett Holman came off the bench on Thursday night to score the victor in the 73rd minute after the Roar twice surrendered the lead in an action-packed clash at Suncorp Stadium.
Both Maccarone and Castro hit the woodwork in the dying stages, with Castro's failure to score from close range proving costly in a match played in front of only 6258 fans.
"To stay in the race, we needed to win tonight and that was the most important thing".
Brisbane's joy was short-lived, with the Glory back on level terms seven minutes later through Chris Harold, who got the better of Brisbane left back Connor O'Toole before beating goalkeeper Jamie Young on his near post.
A frantic period ended with Holman netting the victor 13 minutes after coming on for Corey Gameiro, Massimo Maccarone sending him through on goal.
Chris Harold kept Perth in the game.
But another eight minutes later and it was 2-2, as Harold latched onto Andy Keogh's pass and caught Brisbane's defence napping.
The see-sawing affair took another twist five minutes later when substitute Holman scored in first appearance since injuring his calf against Sydney FC on November 25.
Set up by Maccarone, Holman's first-time effort was too strong Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy, who could not keep it out despite getting a hand to it.
"He's slower than a week in jail sometimes", Lowe said of the veteran Italian marksman.
"What did he do for the third goal?"