However, Britain's men, who lost their opening game 3-1 to Germany, the men's defending Olympic champions, when they were never able to overcome the Germans' spoiling tactics.
Britain's women started in dominant form, moving forward out of defence with great purpose. It was the arrival of Tammy Miller after 20 minutes, her first appearance after injury in Atlanta in April, which provided extra sparkle and the winning goal as she drove forward to set up Simpson. Although the striker's first shot was well blocked by the Spanish goalkeeper, she followed up to slot home the rebound.
Britain's coach, Sue Slocombe, expressed pleasure with the result but disappointment with the performance.
After Britain's men had failed from two penalty corner attempts in the first couple of minutes the Germans gradually took over, winning their first corner in the 17th minute. Carsten Fischer's powerful shot was deflected on to Soma Singh's chest, with Andreas Becker giving Simon Mason no chance from the harshly awarded penalty stroke.
Germany went further ahead 11 minutes into the second half as Christof Beckmann took advantage of poor defending at a long corner. Although Britain pulled a goal back following a penalty stroke from the hard- working Russell Garcia in the 59th minute, Bjorn Michel, with two minutes remaining, restored Germany's two-goal margin.
The disappointed England coach, Jon Copp, said: "Some good things - but there are some areas we are not performing in." He was clearly referring to Britain's finishing. They managed no notable shot throughout the game.
GREAT BRITAIN MEN: S Mason (Reading); J Wyatt (Reading), J Halls (Old Loughtonians); P McGuire (Teddington), Soma Singh (Southgate); R Garcia (Polo Barcelona), Kalbir Takher (Cannock), J Laslett (Teddington, capt); C Mayer (Cannock), R Thompson (Hounslow), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians). Substitutes used: J Shaw (Southgate), C Giles (Havant) and S Hazlitt (Hounslow).
Germany: M Knauth; C Fischer; C Mayerhofer, V Fried, J-P Tewes; P Bellenbaum, K Michler, C Blunck; C Beckmann, S Saliger, M Waldhauser. Substitutes used: B Michel, A Becker, B Emmerling and M Green.
Umpires: J Gorissen (Neth) and F M Faizi (Pakistan).
GREAT BRITAIN WOMEN: H Rose (Sutton Canada Life); J Mould (Balsam Leicester), J Atkins (Bradford Swithenbank, capt), K Brown (Slough), K Johnson (Balsam Leicester); P Robertson (Grove), M Davies (Sutton Canada Life), C Cook (Hightown); J Sixsmith (Sutton Canada Life), R Simpson (Edinburgh), T Cullen ( Hightown). Substitutes used: T Miller (Clifton), A Bennett (Slough), M Nicholls (Slough), J Thompson (Ipswich) and S Fraser (Grove).
Spain: E Carrion; E Erkizu; S de Ignacio, M Telleria, C Gonzalez; N Dorado, C Barea, B Larzarbel; T Motos, S Barrio, N Gabellanes. Substitutes used: M Felto, L Lopez and M Gonzalez.
Umpires: M van Gemert (Neth) and H Malina (Ger).Reuse content