Nonlinearly coupled, damped oscillators at 1:1 frequency ratio, one oscillator being driven coherently for efficient excitation, are exemplified by a spherical swing with some phase-mismatch between drive and response. For certain damping range, excitation is found to succeed if it lags behind, but to produce a chaotic attractor if it leads the response. Although a period-doubling sequence, for damping increasing, leads to the attractor, this is actually born as a hard (as regards amplitude) bifurcation at a zero growth-rate parametric line; as damping decreases, an unstable fixed point crosses an invariant plane to enter as saddle-focus a phase-space domain of physical solutions. A second hard bifurcation occurs at the zero mismatch line, the saddle-focus leaving that domain. Times on the attractor diverge when approaching either line, leading to exactly one-dimensional and noninvertible limit maps, which are analytically determined.