England will rely on the old Hockey Champions Trophy format in a bid to come away from Valencia with 4 Nations success.
Danny Kerry’s side sit bottom after defeats to Ireland on the opening day and the Netherlands, after a narrow 2-1 loss on Tuesday.
They play hosts Spain in their final round robin on Thursday and could well face them again in the semi-finals when first play fourth.
The Spanish sit atop the group after beating Ireland and the Dutch, leaving the World Cup form guide wide open.
A goal from Jeroen Hertzberger six minutes from time did for England, who scored through Barry Middleton, while Kerry bemoaned a late yellow to co-captain Ian Sloan.
Kerry said: “We are absolutely delighted with our performance. It was a tight and even game and we carried plenty of threat and created opportunities. Equally, we were strong in defence.
“Unfortunately a late yellow card was the difference in the scoreline. I was very proud of the standard of our performance today.”
Meanwhile, Great Britain women played the first of two friendly games against local men’s sides on Tuesday.
They came away with a 1-1 draw against Marlow men, before a second encounter against High Wycombe on Wednesday night.